Northern Ireland news

Man (26) who moved to north 18 years ago stunned after racist graffiti painted on house

Racist graffiti has been painted on a man's home on Graymount Parade in north Belfast. Picture by Mal McCann

A MAN who has lived in Northern Ireland for 18 years has said he cannot understand why racist graffiti was painted on his house in north Belfast.

Joe (26), who asked for his surname not to be published, lives on his own in a house on Graymount Parade.

The graffiti was painted on the house between 9pm on Thursday and 2am yesterday.

The mixed area is home to several families who have migrated to Northern Ireland.

The businessman, whose family are originally from west Africa, grew up in north Belfast and attended Hazelwood Integrated College.

"I don't think this has happened in Belfast that much," he said.

"I have seen it maybe once in the last few years. I've been here for so long. I grew up around here. The people that know me around here came round this morning and they're just surprised by what's happened."

Joe said he will have to explain the graffiti to his three young children when they visit over the weekend. He has already spoken to his former partner, who was shocked by the attack.

"I'm just confused by what's gone on. My kids, when they come round, will have to see what this is. They're still young. I want them to see this for what it is," he said.

Joe said he works hard to further his career.

He added: "I'm a businessman as well as my nine-to-five. I'm not just someone who sits in the house all day. I'm always working and trying to get my life in order."

He said he felt that adults were behind the graffiti.

"It can't be kids because of the way it's written," he said.

He added: "It's just so weird."

Joe said he just "wants people to see what has happened".

"I feel that's really important," he said.

Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly condemned the graffiti.

"Incidents like this are a clear indication that laws to tackle hate crimes and sectarianism must be strengthened so those responsible can be properly held to account under the law," he said.

Police said they are investigating the graffiti.

A PSNI spokesman said: "There is no place for hate in our communities and police are appealing anyone with information, or those who may who knows the identity of the perpetrator or perpetrators, to come forward and speak with us."

Police appealed to anyone with information to contact them on 101.

Information can also be given to independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news