Belfast Telegraph

DUP mayor's fear at gun reference in 'Curry My Yougrt' graffiti attack

By Chris Kilpatrick

A sectarian attack on the home of a DUP mayor is the latest of almost 30 similar hate crimes in the area in the past 18 months.

Graffiti referencing recent controversial remarks by DUP MP Gregory Campbell about the Irish language was daubed at the home of party colleague George Duddy, mayor of Coleraine.

'Curry My Yougrt (sic), Oil My AK-47' was scrawled at his property on the outskirts of the town on Sunday. It was the fourth attack on his home in the past year.

Police confirmed they were treating the incident as a hate crime.

Since April of last year there have been a reported 28 attacks on the homes of people perceived as being unionist in the Coleraine area.

Just one youth is said to have been made amenable in that time.

Mr Duddy, an Orangeman, said he would not be forced from Coleraine by the attacks, and urged police to do more to catch those responsible.

He said he had requested financial assistance from the NIO to install new CCTV cameras around his property. But this was rejected and he faces having to pay £1,600 to improve his security and that of his family.

"I find this one much more worrying, given the reference to weapons," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"It is much more concerning. Everybody will blame Gregory's comments for this but that is only an excuse.

"It's just another opportunity for them to carry this out. We have police today warning about a greater threat from dissident republicans, so you are never sure.

"I'll not be moving."

Mr Duddy said Mr Campbell had called him to offer support following the attack.

And First Minister Peter Robinson condemned it.

The DUP leader said: "The repeated attacks on councillor Duddy's house represent a campaign of hatred and intimidation against a public representative.

"In the past these attacks have also damaged property belonging to neighbouring houses, but the reference on this occasion to an AK47 in the graffiti is particularly sinister."

He added: "As the mayor of Coleraine, George has represented all the people of the borough, but unfortunately there are those whose intolerance is matched by their cowardice and who are responsible for these hate-filled attacks. These must stop and the culprits be brought to justice."

There was fury last month when Mr Campbell parodied the Irish language by using the phrase "curry my yoghurt" when addressing the Assembly.

Mr Duddy said he had met with senior police officers about the ongoing attacks, and had urged them to dedicate more resources to tackling the problem.

"I don't think police are putting the resources into it," he added.

Background

George Duddy said the reference to a firearm in the graffiti was alarming.

"It's probably the same headcases who are doing it, but there is a different tone to it now, which is slightly more concerning," he said. "Not that I would have any real concerns about those writing it, but you can never be sure who is at it or who they are actually representing."

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