Belfast Telegraph

Councillor attacks 'far-Right' town for anti-refugee graffiti

By Chris McCullough

A councillor has claimed refugees would be better treated in Syria than Coleraine.

Independent representative Padraig McShane made the comments after 'no refugees welcome' graffiti was daubed on the wall of a local church.

Mr McShane, who was this year convicted of threatening to shove a bottle down the throat of the husband of a unionist politician, said he was not shocked.

He added: "I condemn this action outright but I am not surprised. Coleraine is famous for having a far-Right connection.

"While everyone else is responding positively to the terrible situation these people find themselves in, it is very sad to see this. I'm glad it has been removed."

Mr McShane, who spent three weeks in Syria in 2010 and who sent a truck of supplies to refugees in Calais and Greece on Saturday, added: "It's a total disgrace that anyone could write such a thing on a church wall - especially when these people have gone through so much and have been forced to leave their own homes and their own country.

"I would advise the refugees that they would be better off in Syria rather than coming to Coleraine."

However, DUP councillor George Duddy said that while the slogan was "unfortunate", local people were increasingly angry about a campaign to bring refugees to the town.

Mr Duddy added: "It is unfortunate that this message appeared on the wall of a church, but there is growing concern about bringing refugees to the town. A number of local people have been on waiting lists for houses for a long time, and they are concerned that if refugees are brought here they will get preferential treatment.

"We also have waiting lists building in our hospitals, and again anger is starting to build that refugees could receive priority again.

"There are better ways of getting this message through than painting something on the wall of a church, though."

Belfast Telegraph


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