Racist graffiti on north coast targets Syrians

The racist message spray painted onto a wall on Portrush's West Strand
The racist message spray painted onto a wall on Portrush's West Strand

Police say they are treating the spray painting of racist graffiti on a wall at the West Strand area of Portrush as a racist hate crime.

The message ‘Syrians not welcome’ was sprayed on the wall either later on Saturday or in the early hours of Sunday morning.

A police spokesman said: “Sometime between 5pm on Saturday, March 2 and the early hours of Sunday, March 3, it was reported that racist graffiti was spray painted onto a property in the area.

“Enquiries are continuing and the incident is being treated as a racist hate crime.”

Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald said the incident was particularly unwelcome given Portrush’s hosting of golf’s Open Championship this summer.

“This is not the first incident of racist displays in the town. It is wrong, it is unacceptable and it needs to stop. I will be raising the issue with the PSNI,” she said.

“But there is also an onus on local political and community leaders in Portrush to stand together and speak with one voice in opposition to those attempting to stoke up racial hatred and tensions.

“Portrush is preparing to showcase the town and the north coast to thousands of people who will come here to enjoy the Open golf tournament and the festivities which surround it.”