Belfast Telegraph

Homophobic and racist graffiti in Belfast kids' play park condemned

Graffiti has appeared at the new Orangefield Play Park
Graffiti has appeared at the new Orangefield Play Park
Lauren Harte

By Lauren Harte

Politicians have strongly condemned the appearance of homophobic and racist graffiti at a children’s play park in east Belfast.

Residents discovered the graffiti in the new Orangefield Play Park over the weekend. On one piece of play equipment 'no Roma' was scrawled.

This is the second time the park has been targeted by vandals since its refurbishment earlier this year.

In August damage was caused to the swings.

The park reopened in June after a £190,000 inclusive refurbishment to make it as accessible as possible for everyone.

SDLP Lisnasharragh councillor Seamas de Faoite strongly condemned those behind the latest attack.

Councillor de Faoite said: “Belfast is an increasingly diverse and welcoming city and this graffiti goes totally against the wishes of our local community.

“It is particularly disgusting that these slurs appeared in a children’s play park.

“Children should be able to play and enjoy the facilities without being subject to racist and homophobic slurs.”

He added: “I have reported the graffiti to the Belfast City Council cleansing team, who I understand will have sorted it urgently.

“I will be contacting the local PSNI to ensure investigations take place and local patrols are stepped up in the area.”

DUP Councillor David Brooks added: “Shameful, another incident of mindless vandalism at Orangefield Park and this time with appalling racist slogans scrawled on children’s play equipment.

“Council has been informed and I trust will be out to clean, but this has to stop - anyone who has any information on the culprits should inform the PSNI.

“Neither this ongoing wanton damage nor its message is welcome in the area.”

Police have confirmed that they received a report of hate motivated graffiti daubed on playground equipment in Orangefield Park on Sunday morning.

“Enquiries are ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at Strandtown on 101, quoting reference 811 15/12/19,” a spokesperson added.

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