An independent unionist councillor has branded a graffiti attack in which an Irish tricolour was erected close to his home as "sinister".
Henry Reilly, who sits on Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, was speaking after the message: "Reilly out now" was daubed on a wall near his property overnight on Wednesday.
A tricolour, placed beside it, was discovered around 8am yesterday morning.
The PSNI said it is treating the incident a "sectarian-motivated hate crime".
Mr Reilly said yesterday those behind the incident were "idiots" intent on "creating community disharmony."
"I've been a councillor for 30 years and nothing like this has happened before, particularly at a time when people are trying to work together," he explained.
He revealed the graffiti has since been removed along with the flag.
Police confirmed they are investigating and appealed for information.