Loyalists who crept into the Bogside and stencilled a support Soldier F graffito on Free Derry Wall last night have been branded hateful bigots by a local councillor.
The wings of the Parachute Regiment, members of which slaughtered 13 people - a fourteenth died of his injuries - in Derry on January 30, 1972, were printed on the wall overnight.
Though promptly whitewashed by local community workers on Friday morning the damage was still slightly visible to tourists visiting the monument.
Independent Councillor for the area, Gary Donnelly, said: "Obviously there are people within the loyalist community who are intent on using this issue to stir up sectarian hatred.
"They came into the Bogside, where this massacred occurred. To put up this message in support of one of the people accused of doing it is a massive insult to the community.
"It's going to cause a lot of anger and hurt to the victims."
Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney said: “Whoever was behind this incident, all they were attempting to do was to cause hurt to the families of Bloody Sunday who have battled for 47 years for truth and justice.
"It is also an insult to those in Belfast, including the Ballymurphy families and many others, who are still grieving the loss of loved ones at the hands of the British Army.
“Thankfully the graffiti was quickly removed but unionist leaders should do more to avoid a repeat by ending their silence on these repeated and hurtful displays of support for a man facing multiple murder and attempted murder charges."