A Sinn Féin MLA has said vandalism of Irish language road signs in Co Tyrone over the weekend shows “the need for protection of Irish language rights through legislation”.
The signs, at Killyliss Road in Dungannon and Annaghroe in Caledon appeared to have been damaged by burning, with what looks like scorch marks blotting out the Irish language words.
Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA Colm Gildernew said: “This is the latest in a series of attacks on Irish language road signs across South Tyrone. There is no excuse for this type of vandalism and it cannot be tolerated.
“Signage is often subject to a rigorous community process prior to erection, therefore, these attacks fly in the face of people’s consent.”
He continued: “The vandalism of these signs and others in the borough forms part of a campaign of intolerance against the Irish language in recent months in the area, and should be condemned by all.
“There is a need for some in political unionism in particular to show leadership on this issue.
“Unfortunately, this is indicative of the attitude of some in society who show a complete disregard and lack of respect for the Irish identity and further focus the need for protection of Irish Language rights through legislation.”
Mr Gildernew added: “I have reported these attacks to the PSNI and I am appealing to anyone with information to bring it forward so those responsible can be held to account for these disgraceful crimes.”