Belfast Telegraph

Politicians condemn graffiti threatening three prison officers

Sinister threats, believed to be against serving prison officers, have been condemned after appearing on the side of a former PSNI station in Co Tyrone overnight
Sinister threats, believed to be against serving prison officers, have been condemned after appearing on the side of a former PSNI station in Co Tyrone overnight
Mark Bain

By Mark Bain

Sinister threats, believed to be against serving prison officers, have been condemned after appearing on the side of a former PSNI station in Co Tyrone overnight.

Three names, written in large black paint on the whitewashed wall of the former Stewartstown station, are listed alongside a target and the words 'screws beware'.

The letters 'IRA' and images of a rifle have also been daubed on the wall of the former station, which is next to the town's primary school.

Concerns have also been raised at the length of time being taken to remove the names from the wall.

The station is situated along the route prison officer David Black would have taken on his way to work before he was murdered by dissident republicans in November, 2012.

And a man is currently on trial charged with the 2016 murder of prison officer Adrian Ismay.

There have been calls for the immediate removal of the graffiti.

Condemning it, Cookstown UUP councillor Trevor Wilson said it was "clearly designed to threaten and intimidate".

"Given the murders of prison officers David Black and Adrian Ismay, any potential threat to officers has to be taken seriously," he said.

Sinn Féin councillor Ronan McGinley also slammed those responsible, saying "they in no way represent this community".

"This offensive graffiti is utterly unacceptable in any society and must be removed at once," he said. "Incidents such as this only serve to further division at a time when the community wants to move forward."

SDLP Mid Ulster councillor Malachy Quinn said he is "beyond disgusted" at the appearance of the graffiti.

"It's a disgusting attempt to intimidate people in this community," he said.

"The faceless thugs who are responsible need to understand, and they need to be made to understand, that they are not wanted here."

The PSNI said it will make arrangements to remove the graffiti.

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