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Belfast police treating graffiti targeting Tánaiste as a hate crime

A threat to lynch the Tánaiste which appeared in Belfast yesterday is being investigated as a ha...
Marita Moloney
Marita Moloney

08.49 31 Jan 2021


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Belfast police treating graffi...

Belfast police treating graffiti targeting Tánaiste as a hate crime

Marita Moloney
Marita Moloney

08.49 31 Jan 2021


Share this article


A threat to lynch the Tánaiste which appeared in Belfast yesterday is being investigated as a hate crime.

The message directed at Leo Varadkar was sprayed on the wall of a supermarket in Belvoir near the Ormeau Road.

The PSNI are investigating the threat which appeared between Friday evening and Saturday morning.

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Local residents had already repainted the wall before council workers arrived to clean it up yesterday afternoon.

There has been widespread condemnation of the incident both north and south of the border.

Alliance leader Naomi Long said there was "no excuse" for the "absolutely sick and offensive graffiti, with clearly racist overtones".

Local SDLP MP Claire Hanna says it's just the latest effort in the area to "hype up divisions" over the terms of the Brexit trade deal.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald described it as a "vile, shameful attack" on Mr Varadkar.

She added: "Threats and intimidation driven by sectarianism and racism must be faced down by all of us. Together."

Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill said she was "shocked at the disgusting graffiti" and condemned the incident.

"This is a hate crime motivated by prejudice.

"It’s also criminal damage and anyone with information should contact police who must investigate," she added.

Fine Gael TDs Neale Richmond and Josepha Madigan said it was "disgusting" and "utterly shameful", respectively.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the PSNI either at Lisburn Road, by submitting a report on its website, or by calling Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Main image: A stock picture of a Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) logo badge. Credit: PA

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