Northern Ireland police investigate ‘no Irish, no gay’ graffiti as hate crime
Police in Northern Ireland are investigating graffiti found in Lurgan, Co. Armagh, reading “no Irish, no gay” as a hate crime.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said they received a report of criminal damage on Friday (18 August), however, according to local residents, the graffiti was not new, and had been there for a “number of years”.
Peter Lavery, the Alliance Party councillor for the Lurgan district, said that graffiti bearing the anti-LGBTQ+ slogan was initially spotted in the town in 2021. However, he believed, this instance of the same slogan was new.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Lavery said: “It’s very concerning. I saw stencils go up and around Mourneview a year or two ago. They were reported and removed at the time. It’s very worrying this is now becoming a regular occurrence.”
The councillor added: “Lurgan is an inclusive, welcoming town that is looking to the future. Those spray-painting these homophobic and anti-Irish statements do not represent the vast majority of people here, and I condemn them and their actions.”
A PSNI spokesperson told PinkNews: “Police received a report of criminal damage in the Pollock Drive area of Lurgan on Friday 18 August. Officers attended and spoke with local residents, who advised that the graffiti had been there for a number of years.
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“The graffiti is being treated a homophobic hate crime.”
According to census data, Northern Ireland has the smallest proportion of LGBTQ+ people in the UK, with a little more than two per cent of its population identifying as lesbian, gay or bisexual.
The country legalised same-sex marriage in 2019 – six years after it became legal in England and Wales – with the first same-sex marriage taking place in February 2020.
“We are equal to a man and a woman. Our love is just the same. People might try to say it’s not, but it’s the exact same,” Robyn Peoples, one half of the first same-sex couple to wed, said.
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