Sectarian graffiti beside Co Down bonfire site condemned

Sectarian graffiti that has appeared close to a bonfire site in Co Down has been condemned for "raising community tensions".

Newry Mourne and Down DUP Councillor Alan Lewis has criticised those responsible for the graffiti which has appeared on a gable wall at De Courcey Way, Dundrum, saying 'Up the Ra'.

It is understood to have appeared at some point overnight on Sunday, July 7.

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Newry Mourne and Down DUP Councillor Alan Lewis has slammed those responsible for raising community tensions in Dundrum, over night (Sunday) two flags were ripped from homes and ‘Up the Ra’ painted along a gable wall at De Courcey Way, Dundrum.

He has said that the graffiti is designed to intimidate and that the "cowards" behind it will achieve nothing.

Councillor Lewis says: “Flags removed and sectarian slogan painted on wall adjacent to a bonfire site, we must not allow those who seek to wreck community relations win. Nobody wants this type of behaviour, it’s intimidation, threatening and those behind it will achieve nothing.

"For years the 11th night bonfire here has been a non-issue, through local engagement and working alongside PCSP, NIHE & Police, most of the issues have been successfully resolved. There is no space for this type of threatening behaviour. It is not acceptable. The community do not want it, these people are plastic Provos who wish they were living in years gone by. The community has dealt with much worse over the years, this latest attack is shocking but unfortunately not surprising."


He continued: "Have spoken with PSNI and NIHE. Home owners living along the row are very shaken, upset and rightly feel victimised.

"I’d appeal to those who sneak around in the dead of night, to wise up, grow up, if they want to make a positive contribution to their community then come see me, lift the phone, don’t be cowards hiding behind a tin of spray paint."

A PSNI spokesperson said: "Police are investigating a report of criminal damage on wall in Dundrum.

"A report was received on Monday morning, 8th July that graffiti had been sprayed on a wall. Also, it had been reported that two flags had been taken down and found in a hedge.

"Enquiries into the incident, which is being treated as a hate crime, are ongoing. Anyone who may have witnessed any suspicious activity in the area or who has any information which could assist is asked to contact police on 101, quoting 604 08/07/24.

"A report can also be made using the online reporting form via www.psni.police.uk/makeareport. Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org."

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