Belfast racist thugs' graffiti warning to landlords slammed
Graffiti scrawled in east Belfast has been blasted as "sickening".
In two separate locations in the Bloomfield area of the city the graffiti warns local landlords not to rent out properties to foreigners.
The graffiti appeared at Dunraven Avenue and nearby Glenbrook Avenue.
The sinister messages read: 'Landlords Beware. Locals 1st', and 'Locals only Landlords'.
Alliance Party councillor David Armitage said he had asked Belfast City Council to have the graffiti removed as a matter of urgency.
He insisted that the messages were not representative of the wider community. "East Belfast is becoming more diverse and multicultural, which is welcome," he said.
"What is not welcome is this graffiti. It is appalling some people would still have such attitudes in the 21st century. This summer has seen the best of Belfast showcased to a global audience through a number of major events.
"Graffiti like this and the thugs behind it have no place in our society. Migrants are a valued part of our community and should be respected and made to feel welcome.
"I know the vast majority of people who live in this area and further afield will be disgusted by this sickening graffiti.
"I hope we do not see any more and I would urge anyone with information on those who put it there to give it to police immediately."
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph last night, PUP councillor Dr John Kyle also condemned the graffiti.
"This sort of racist intimidation does not represent the views of the people of the Bloomfield and Castlereagh area," he said.
"The community has made it clear that this kind of intimidation it unacceptable."
Mr Kyle added that he felt great progress had been made in recent years in helping foreign nationals integrate locally.
He added: "East Belfast is a highly desirable place to live.
"Residents of the area are proud to live there, and welcome the many positive developments of recent years, such as the Connswater Greenway."
He added that he was concerned that any recurrence of racist hatemongering risked undermining what he called the "vibrancy" of the area.
"It would be a great shame if the progress made over the past few years was jeopardised by this kind of racist intimidation carried out by a few individuals," he said.