Dungannon Council Offices security hoax and graffiti condemned

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Independent Republican Councillor Barry Monteith has spoken out against those responsible for the security alert at the new Mid Ulster Council’s Dungannon offices on Friday morning.

Staff were evacuated from the Circular Road council offices after a suspicious package was found at the front steps of the building by an employee first thing in the morning.

Graffiti was also daubed on the building with the words “Leave our culture alone!”, and “Hands off our poppy”, a reference to the super council’s recent banning of the sale of political emblems at council property including poppies.

An army technical officer was dispatched to the site but later declared it a hoax.

Local councillor Barry Monteith condemned the incident, saying that it was ‘distressing for staff and people going about their daily business.’

“It also affected young people attending the Leisure Centre and with it being Good Friday, people were hampered from attending their places of worship”, he said.

“It is ironic that only a day or two after politicians have been claiming Republican aggression in Mid Ulster it is loyalism that has raised its head in this way.

“The reality is that no one’s culture is under threat and the council offices should be places where everyone feels comfortable and respected.”