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The graffiti in grange Manor estate yesterday. Damien Tiernan/WLR
Waterford

'Hang traitors' graffiti is a threat to 'kill politicians' and cannot go unchallenged, TD says

The graffiti in Waterford city included the message ‘Hang traitors’ alongside a gunsight symbol.

LAST UPDATE | 15 hrs ago

GRAFFITI IN A Waterford housing estate appearing to target Sinn Féin, which included the message ‘Hang traitors’, has been criticised by one of the party’s senior TDs.

Two examples of graffiti were seen yesterday in the Grange Manor estate in the Ardkeen area, and included gunsight symbols along with separate messages. The symbol bears similarities to that used in white supremacist ideology.

One message said: ‘Kill Shiners’. It’s been interpretated as a misspelling of ‘Shinners’ – a common nickname for Sinn Féin members.

The party’s Waterford TD David Cullinane told The Journal that he has reported the graffiti to gardaí.

Speaking on local radio earlier, Cullinane also said it was likely the work of “so-called patriots” who have been “trying to poison working class communities”.

“The people who call people traitors really have nothing to offer themselves,” Cullinane told WLR.

“When you have slogans and graffiti that says we’re going to kill members of any political party, obviously that’s extreme and needs to be dealt with by An Garda Síochána… we still have to call it out and have to respond to it.”

Cullinane added that the party had been targeted in recent times by “people who are misrepresenting” the party’s position on migration, along with approaches he said has personally faced by protesters “very aggressively” confronting him.

“I’m not intimidated at all by any of that. I do see it for what it is: people on the extremes. I know the vast majority of people of Waterford are very reasonable, fair-minded people,” he said.

Ahead of next month’s local and European elections, politicians on the campaign trail have been victim to various incidents vandalism and confrontations.

Fingal councillor Tania Doyle was attacked while putting up posters last weekend, and former TD Ruth Coppinger has criticised people with far-right ideology for trying to “frighten” and “intimidate” candidates after one of her campaign posters had a Nazi symbol cut into it.

In Dún Laoghaire, local campaign group Dún Laoghaire Welcomes said it was extremely concerned by the recent defacing and removal of the election posters of some candidates in the Loughlinstown area.

It said that it “appears to be a campaign targeted at particular candidates”, from the Social Democrats, People Before Profit’s Dave O’Keefe and an Independent councillor who have all seen their posters either “defaced with misogynistic comment”, or removed.

Róisín Cronin, Secretary of the Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Fórsa trade union branch, an affiliate member of Dún Laoghaire Welcomes, said it had all the appearances of a “deliberate attempt to demoralise and intimidate” certain candidates.

“Over the last months we have seen the growth of a far right movement campaigning against immigration using similar tactics. It is utterly unacceptable that our democratic process could be interfered with in this way,” Cronin said.

Gregor Kerr, local community activist and member of Dún Laoghaire Welcomes said that each candidate who had their posters whose targeted had also endorsed the campaign group’s platform of “rejecting division and hate”.

“We will not allow minorities and those who have arrived in Ireland seeking asylum to be blamed for government policy failures. We will not allow candidates standing up against division and hate to be silenced,” Kerr said.

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