Vandals paint over English street names on bilingual road signs

The vandalised street sign in Parkmore Close.
The vandalised street sign in Parkmore Close.

Those painting over the English translation on bilingual street signs have been described as ‘intolerant’, following a series of vandalism incidents.

Darren Totten, Sinn Fein councillor from Magherafelt, has spoken out against the damage to street signs in the town.

He said: “I am a supporter and pro-active advocate of bringing bilingual signage to streets and areas where it is welcome in my community.

“I have been saddened in the past to have to personally clean and seek repair of damage to the signage by those who would attack the very presence of an Irish identity here.

“Those who feel the need to paint over the English interpretation of a local place name on a bilingual street sign are just as bad, and as intolerant, as those who would paint over the Irish.

“We have been out, once again, doing our best and cleaning the signs - just as we have done before when the Irish was vandalised.

“I have never understood the need in some to attack other’s cultures instead of celebrating their own.”

Meanwhile DUP Clogher Valley Councillor Wills Robinson has called similar damage to street signs in his constituency as “foolish”

He said: “Over recent weeks road signs have been daubed with paint and some have been ripped out of the ground throughout the Clogher Valley.

“Those removing road signs are foolish and have little thought for the wider community. These signs are needed for guidance to road users but most especially for emergency services when they are trying to find a property.

“At a time when many are complaining about potholes, its sheer madness to then have to direct money and people to repair road signs. Such stupidity needs to stop.”

Councillor Robinson added: “I note that Sinn Fein has condemned damage to signs containing the Irish language. I echo that condemnation. Criminal damage to all road signs is wrong, must be condemned and should stop.

“Sinn Fein should join with me and condemn those who repeatedly damage directional signage at Ballygawley Roundabout for Londonderry.

“Paint has been daubed on these signs repeatedly to remove the word ‘London’ and in some cases new signs have had to be erected such has been the damage.

“At the border the ‘welcome to Northern Ireland’ signage has also been defaced with shotgun holes blasted in the sign. This is clearly criminal.”