Beautiful hand painted Pride mural is removed after homophobes vandalise it for the second time

A village’s beautiful Pride mural has been removed after vandals daubed a homophobic slur and a hangman’s noose over it.

The rainbow heart mural was painted by a local artist Trish Weldridge in the small Irish village of Balbriggan to mark last year’s Pride celebrations.

Just eleven days after it was unveiled homophobes defaced it with the slur ‘fag’. The graffiti was swiftly removed and the mural became a popular local attraction with many couples posing for pictures in front of it for Valentine’s Day.

But on Thursday night the graffiti took a more sinister form as a hangman’s noose appeared on the mural with a huge red ‘X’ crossing the heart.

After this latest defacement the artist has sadly made the decision to scrap the mural rather than paint over it yet another time.

Local man Ronan Kelly told Dublin Live: “The mural is now gone. Trish had a look this morning and figured it would be easier to start again than to try and fix it.”

Displayed just next to Balbriggan station, the mural was a prominent feature of the village and heartened many people who passed it.

The latest disgusting graffiti of a hangman’s noose has prompted the artist to remove the mural (Dublin Live/Ronan Kelly)

The news has devastated local residents who expressed outraged that thugs in their community destroyed the touching tribute to LGBT+ love.

“What idiots, no respect for anything,” wrote Ann Bullivant in a Balbriggan Facebook group.

“Vandalism and bigotry all in one action, not the sort of person I would give any time to,” another woman commented. “Such a shame to destroy such a lovely mural.”

Michael Doyle wrote: “As a gay person this is heartbreaking, I used to love seeing this when going to the train station.”

Several sympathetic locals have offered to donate money to contribute to the painting of a new mural for the village.