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Rubbing London out of Derry road signs paints a bad image, says DUP

By Donna Deeney

Published 04/11/2016

Many signs have had the word ‘London’ painted over by republicans, says DUP’s Adrian McQuillan
Many signs have had the word ‘London’ painted over by republicans, says DUP’s Adrian McQuillan
Many signs have had the word ‘London’ painted over by republicans, says DUP’s Adrian McQuillan

Officials have been urged to put 'London' back into Londonderry on road signs across Northern Ireland.

DUP MLA Adrian McQuillan said the "sectarian" painting over of the London part by republicans was unsightly, and confusing for tourists.

Mr McQuillan has contacted Chris Hazzard, the Sinn Fein minister responsible for roads, about the issue.

"I have written to the Infrastructure Minister about removing spray paint blocking out 'London' from Londonderry on road signs," he said.

"This came to my attention recently as the road I normally travel to Stormont on has been closed, so I am using an alternative route.

"I noticed one sign, and then another, and then another, and it struck me as such a petty, sectarian thing to do.

"Clearly, not everyone has moved on, and has a problem accepting the name of the second city.

"The closer you get to Londonderry the more of these defaced road signs there are. It is confusing to tourists who are travelling around Northern Ireland and it is also sending out the wrong message to people about being welcomed to every town and city."

Mr McQuillan said that "unsightly" vandalised signs could impact on efforts to attract visitors and businesses to the north west.

"I don't think it would cost too much for the department to have the road signs repaired because I have actually removed spray paint from signs myself in the past, so I know it isn't a difficult job," he added.

Mr McQuillan also wants the department to take action against anyone found defacing the signs.

He added: "No one has been taken to court over this, but I would like to see that happen.

"I understand that it might be difficult to bring someone to court, but if just one person was made an example of then it would send out the message that this will not be tolerated.

"It is such a petty thing for someone to spray over the word 'London', and it portrays a negative image that we are supposed to have left behind us."

No one was available from the Department of Infrastructure for comment.

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