Graffiti “gloating” at the deaths of British soldiers has no place in the Bogside, the son of a man murdered on Bloody Sunday has told the ‘Journal’.
Tony Doherty, whose father, Patrick, was among those gunned down by British paratroopers on January 30, 1972, spoke out after spray painters daubed various slogans on walls in the Bogside and Brandywell areas.
One of the slogans - which appeared on the side of a pensioner’s bungalow at St Columb’s Wells - referred to the deaths of 18 British soldiers at Warrenpoint in 1979.
Tony Doherty said much of the graffiti - which appeared along the route of last weekend’s Bloody Sunday march - was “no different” to the flying of Parachute Regiment flags in other areas of the city.
He told the ‘Journal’: “I was disappointed to see graffiti painted along the route of this march.
“In the last years of the Bloody Sunday Weekend Committee organising the march, we had appealed for no graffiti to be painted in consideration of the residents who live in the Brandywell and Bogside all year round. These appeals had been largely successful.
“Equally, the nature of a lot of this graffiti, gloating at the deaths of British soldiers at Warrenpoint, has no place on the walls of the Bogside and is not in keeping with the legacy of Bloody Sunday.”
Colm Barton, of the Triax Neighbourhood Management Team, said local residents were bewildered at the graffiti, some of which has now been removed.
“I have been talking to a lot of residents in the Brandywell and Bogside and they just don’t see the point of this,” he said.
“If people have issues they want to raise, there have to be better ways than spray painting it onto local people’s property and making the area look shabby.
“The Bogside and Brandywell have been largely free of graffiti in recent years. This has been as a result of the hard work of residents and community groups with the support of the Housing Executive and others. This work has proved immensely popular with local residents and we are committed to continuing it,” he told the Journal yesterday.