‘It’s time to move on’

Kathleen Hutton, on left, with Top of the Hill community worker Geraldine O'Donnell, picted near the graffiti at the top of Fountain Hill. (1511MM02)

Kathleen Hutton, on left, with Top of the Hill community worker Geraldine O'Donnell, picted near the graffiti at the top of Fountain Hill. (1511MM02)

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A daughter of one of the first Derry IRA men to die in the Troubles has called for an end to a graffiti campaign which labelled her a ‘PSNI tout’ and said the time has come for everyone to engage with the police.

Kathleen Hutton, owner of Annie’s Bar at the Top of the Hill, said she has been the victim of a campaign of graffiti and intimidation which began after she contacted the police after being assaulted in the bar several years ago.

Her father, Tommy Carlin, was one of the first IRA volunteers to die in Derry. Mrs Hutton said the graffiti began several years ago after she contacted the PSNI. New graffiti labelling the bar owner a ‘PSNI tout’ appeared at the Top of the Hill last week and prompted Mrs Hutton to make a public call for an end to the campaign. “It has said ‘RIP’ with my name written in dripping red paint. My daughter saw that and was genuinely scared. I am a grandmother trying to run a business,” she said.

Mrs Hutton also said that no-one should be branded a ‘tout’ for contacting the police.

“I have been a republican all my life. I am from an old republican family going back to 1916. My father was one of the first IRA men killed in Derry in June 1970.

“I went to the police because I was doing what I think it right. I fully support Sinn Féin’s stance on policing and I aim to show an example by going to the police.

“We have to move on. We have to tell these people that times have changed and that we have moved on. It doesn’t make you a traitor to go to the police,” she said.

Top of the Hill community worker Geraldine O’Donnell also called for the graffiti to stop.

“I would appeal for these graffiti attacks to stop. They are wrong and shouldn’t be happening,” she said.