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‘Idiots’ deface new bilingual sign outside Newtownhamilton for second time

A new bilingual sign on the outskirts of Newtownhamilton has been vandalised for the second time in just over a fortnight.

The Welcome to the District sign, which features an Irish translation, is situated on the Keady Road into Newtownhamilton.

Sinn Féin councillor Barra Ó Muirí  said the sign had been defaced again at the weekend “by idiots who have painted over the Irish writing”.

He added: “Obviously someone wishes to make a point but they don’t realise that the entire community is disgusted by their actions.”

In the first incident at the end of October, the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council sign was daubed with the the letters ‘UDA’ and the Irish portion painted over.

The Sinn Féin representative stated: “In spite of all the great community work that goes on in the town, all the funding that is poured into cross-community projects and the fact that we are in 2021, there are still those who wish for Newtown to be defined as a divided community. Shame on them!

“Languages, creed nor ethnicity should offend or threaten anyone in today’s society. We are better than that!”

Police confirmed that the criminal damage was being treated as a “hate crime”.

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