Attack on Irish sign was ‘a hate crime’

A dual language road sign installed by Mid Ulster District Council at Ardboe has been attacked by vandals.

Sinn Féin’s Ronan McGinley has reacted angrily, describing the incident as a “hate crime” carried out around the Loughshore area.

Speaking about the criminal damage, Councillor McGinley said: “Attacks like this on the Irish language must stop.

“It will not be accepted, if a sign is marked out with paint, it will be cleaned.

“If a sign is damaged, it will be repaired and if a sign is removed, it will be replaced.

“Local people have requested this service by the council and these cowardly acts will not go unchallenged,” he added.

The local councillor said that since the introduction of the council’s policy, there have been numerous attacks across the district.

“The Sinn Féin team in Mid Ulster have requested this criminal activity is recorded for what it is, hate crime,” he continued.

“It should not be tolerated. We have recently met with the police and made it clear that we want to see action taken,” he said.

“ Those who engage in this criminal behaviour should be held accountable.”

Cllr McGinley said he would like to pay tribute to Mid Ulster District Council who quickly acted in order to remove the paint.

“Council should not have to take this action,” he continued.

“ I call on those responsible for these hate crimes to stop immediately.”

There have been almost 100 attacks on dual language signs in the district over the last two years.