Anti-Irish vandals target Tullaghoge Fort sign four times

Vandals continually defacing sign at Tullaghoge
Vandals continually defacing sign at Tullaghoge

Vandals with something against the Irish language have targeted the sign at Tullaghoge Fort four times since the revamped tourist site was re-opened in summer.

Managed by the Historic Environment Division, the ancient site was redesigned at a cost of almost £500k in a bid to draw more tourists to the historic area.

The site was closed for almost a year while development works were carried out to deliver a new car park, interpretation and a new path to the monument.

The welcome sign at the new entrance was written in both English and Irish, but someone who appears to have an issue with the Irish interpretation of what’s on offer has continually defaced it.

Although the sign is owned by HED, it has fallen to Mid Ulster District Council to remove the graffiti.

Hitting out at those attacking the sign, Mid Ulster Councillor Cathal Mallaghan said: “Attacks on the Irish language are futile. The language lives in us and among us.

“Our names, our places and our unique words have all come from it.

“The language is growing and does not belong to either side of the community. It belongs to us all.

“No tins of spray paint will ever dampen the desire for the language to blossom - in fact it only serves as a lever to further protect and enhance it.

“People should respect their culture and heritage and educate themselves on its importance.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Communities said: “I can’t indicate a cost as the clean-up and replacements have been handled by the council.

“The repeated vandalism, at the main public access-point to the site is very disappointing. Officials are working closely with officials in the Mid Ulster District Council to address the ongoing problem of vandalism to this sign, and to promote the site as a key heritage destination for the area.”