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Fury over race hate graffiti attack on Dungannon home

By Cate McCurry

Published 05/05/2016

The racist graffiti was spray-painted on the property at Oaks Road in the town
The racist graffiti was spray-painted on the property at Oaks Road in the town
House Spray Painted with racist graffiti in Co Tyrone

There has been an outpouring of anger after racist graffiti was daubed on a house in Co Tyrone.

The words 'Muslim scum' were spray-painted on the wall at the front of the property some time between Tuesday night and yesterday morning.

It is understood the house on Oaks Road in Dungannon is currently unoccupied.

A spokeswoman for Step (South Tyrone Empowering Programme), a Dungannon-based organisation that runs a migrant workers support project, condemned the attack.

"This behaviour is not representative of the majority of community members in Dungannon and we are certain that this incident will be criticised by local authorities and the neighbours of those affected," she said.

"The motivation of such an attack is difficult to comprehend but the resulting inconvenience, fear and anxiety felt by the victims is even more so. We implore that the local community challenge all levels of racism in our community."

There was widespread anger over the hate attack from local politicians.

Mid Ulster independent councillor Barry Monteith described it as a "deplorable" act.

He said: "No one should be targeted because of their religion.

"Our country, of all countries, should know that this type of action is unacceptable.

"In more recent times that area has become quite popular with the different nationalities that have come to Dungannon over the last 15 years."

Sinn Fein councillor Dominic Molloy said he was not aware of any previous issues in that part of the town, where a lot of migrant workers live.

"I condemn any racism in the area and call on people to desist, and anyone who is aware of any perpetrators should be going to the PSNI.

"There's very little tension in the area. There's a big mix of people who live and work alongside each other and there's been no issues in the past particularly in that area."

A PSNI spokesman confirmed the incident had not been reported to police.

Chief Inspector Stephen Humphries added: "We would encourage all incidents of this nature to be reported to us as soon as possible.

"Police in Dungannon take hate crime seriously and actively investigate all incidents reported to us.

"Our message is very clear: in order to prevent hate crimes occurring, people need to report it to police."

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