A SPATE of graffiti incidents in the Omagh area during the past few weeks is an attempt to raise tensions, according to the Sinn Féin council chairman, Martin McColgan.
His comments come after an election poster for one of the party’s candidates, Sorcha McAnespy, was daubed with a UVF slogan and in a separate incident, sectarian slogans were painted at the entrance to the grounds of Drumragh Sarsfields on the Clanabogan Road. Police are investigating after graffiti was scrawled on the entrance of the club’s grounds sometime between 9.30pm on Sunday, May 11 and 7.30am on Monday.
One of the slogans referred to the Bloody Sunday killings.
The Tyrone GAA and Drumragh Sarsfields club declined to comment on the incident when contacted.
It was the second incident of criminal damage at GAA grounds within weeks.
Graffiti was also recently daubed on the dugouts at the Killyclogher St Mary’s venue at Ballinamullin.
Earlier in the year, sectarian slogans were painted on the outside wall of the Tyrone County Hospital.
Cllr McColgan condemned those responsible for the graffiti attacks and urged anyone with information to contact the relevant authorities.
“It seems like someone is trying to raise tensions, but they should realise that this won’t happen,” he said.
“This kind of graffiti is only hurting organisations like the GAA which are doing great work socially and recreationally within their communities.
“There is a nuisance value attached to this, but also a cost associated with removing the graffiti and that money could be much better spent elsewhere.
“We have also had a number of incidents where Sinn Féin elections posters have been taken down or defaced and again this is to be condemned.”
Meanwhile, a Castlederg councillor says he will not be intimidated out of canvassing.
Speaking after two of his party’s large billboards were stolen following their erection in Clady, Cllr Maoliosa McHugh says the effort required to remove the boards goes beyond mindless vandalism.
“The boards we’re talking about are about the size of a house door, maybe a little bigger,” the Sinn Féin candidate for the forthcoming election explained. “So it would have required a lot of effort to take them down and steal them.
“I am particularly angry about it and for a number of reasons.
“Elections are part and parcel of the democratic process, as is the erection of billboards and posters. Putting up posters allows the general public to see the people they have the opportunity to vote for.
“By taking these billboards down, these people are attempting to undermine that democratic process.