Northern Ireland

Dissident republican graffiti attacks follow City of Culture event

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Media captionThe culture minister condemned the graffiti on a visit to Derry.

A Londonderry community centre has been daubed with dissident republican graffiti after it ran an event for those who did not get tickets for last weekend's Radio 1 music festival.

The Gasyard Centre was one of several properties targeted in the city.

The Creggan Community Centre and other sites in the Brandywell area were sprayed with anti-British and anti-Sinn Fein slogans overnight.

Linda McKinney, manager of the Gasyard, said staff were "devastated".

"We believe it's an attack on the community because of what we had on in the area over the weekend," she said.

"At the weekend we had 1,000 people at a spill-over event for residents who didn't get tickets for the Big Weekend.

"We had a very successful event, no incidents, no casualties, no trouble in the area at all.

"We're not seeing an attack on a wall, we're seeing an attack on a community that should be given access to whatever's going on in the city. For me they're anti-community slogans."

'Wreckers' charter'

The graffiti spray-painted on the walls included slogans reading 'UK no way', 'join the IRA', 'Free Marian Price' and 'PSNI station'.

Sinn Fein councillor Patricia Logue condemned those responsible and said there was a lot of anger in the community.

"It hosted one of the most successful events in years at the weekend to coincide with the Big Weekend, which was attended by thousands of people from across the city," she said.

"Now to be targeted in this way by a very small minority of people opposed to the peace process and anything positive that seems to happen in Derry is absolutely scandalous and will be seen for what it is which is community punishment and part of a wreckers' charter."

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