Sectarian graffiti daubed on murals and doors in Londonderry

Graffiti on mural Image copyright DAVID RAMSEY
Image caption The graffiti was painted late on Saturday night or early on Sunday morning

Police are investigating as a hate crime the daubing of sectarian graffiti on murals and houses in Londonderry's Waterside area.

Residents and business owners expressed disgust after "IRA" and "IRA GHOST" were painted on murals in Bond Street and house doors in Duddys Court.

The graffiti was painted late on Saturday night or early on Sunday morning.

DUP councillor David Ramsey said the behaviour had been going on for weeks.

"There is a sinister element involved and people are sick of it," he told BBC News NI.

"You can see why people are angry and they do believe that this is a deliberate attempt to heighten tensions in the lead-up to the Apprentice Boys of Derry parade."

Image copyright DAVID RAMSEY
Image caption The graffiti was painted late on Saturday night or early on Sunday morning

The loyalist murals in the area commemorate the siege of Derry, which was broken on 30 July 1689 by English army sailing down Lough Foyle.

The Apprentice Boys of Derry's annual August march is the largest single parade in Northern Ireland each year and commemorates the three-and-a-half month siege.

One Bond Street resident, who did not want to be named, said he was disgusted by the graffiti.

"You go to bed at night and you expect to wake up the next morning to something else," he said.

"It is going to keep going until somebody puts a stop to it."