Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Locals outraged by menacing sign from racist thugs

The threatening sign, put up in Moygashel on New Year's Eve, angered residents. Pictured by Emma Grey

A threatening sign warning landlords not to rent their properties to foreign nationals has been condemned.

The placard appeared on a lamppost in the Co Tyrone village of Moygashel, just outside Dungannon, earlier this week, but was quickly taken down by residents.

Police have confirmed they are investigating the matter, which they have described as a hate crime.

Dungannon DUP councillor Kim Ashton said any type of intimidation or intolerance was unacceptable.

"We will not tolerate intimidation of any sort, regardless of people's race or background," she said.

The sign, which read: 'Attention landlords, leasing property to foreign nationals will not be tolerated', was put up close to Hillcrest Park in the village.

It was reported to police on Tuesday and removed the same day. Dungannon and the wider south Tyrone area has one of the highest migrant populations in Northern Ireland.

Ms Ashton said it did not represent the views of the wider community.

"This incident is absolutely not reflective of the vast majority of opinion in the area," she said.

"Local people are very angry and they alerted the police."

The mayor of Dungannon, Sean McGuigan, said migrant workers contributed greatly to the community. "This type of behaviour is totally unacceptable and must be condemned," he said.

"It is the work of a small number of individuals trying to raise tension in the area."

The sign appeared just a day before restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians arriving in the UK to find jobs were lifted.

It is not clear if the sign was intended to coincide with the relaxation of the border controls on January 1.

A PSNI spokesman said: "On Tuesday, December 31 police in Dungannon were made aware of a sign having been erected on a pole at the entrance to Hillcrest Park, Moygashel.

"This sign was subsequently removed on the same date.

"Police are investigating this incident as a hate crime and would ask anyone who witnessed the sign being erected or anyone with any information to contact them at Dungannon Police Station on 0845 600 8000."

Information can also be given anonymously to the Crimestoppers charity by calling 0800 555 111.

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