Crosshair graffiti targeting James Nesbitt in Ireland investigated as ‘hate crime’
Graffiti in Ireland targeting James Nesbitt will be treated as a hate crime, police have said.
The actor has been targeted after speaking at a forum in Dublin discussing a united Ireland. The message was written on a wall in Portrush, County Londonderry.
The graffiti, which was written on Tuesday or Wednesday, was said to have mentioned Mr Nesbitt’s name and had a crosshair target painted next to it.
Irish politicians have condemned the message with Democratic Unionist Party MP Gregory Campbell calling Mr Nesbitt a “local lad” who is “invested in his community”.
"Those painting threatening graffiti such as this should stop,” he said, despite the unionist party’s opposition to a united Ireland.
"Their actions are wrong and to be condemned. I fundamentally disagree with Mr Nesbitt's position on Northern Ireland's future but he has every right to express his political views in whatever forum he wishes."
Former first minister Arlene Foster added: “I totally condemn this attack on James Nesbitt even though I fundamentally disagree with him."
Caoimhe Archibald, a Sinn Féin assembly member for East Londonderry, called the graffiti a "sinister effort to silence debate".
Mr Nesbitt had spoken of "a new union of Ireland” at the Ireland’s Future rally. He has not responded to the graffiti.