Derry’s graffiti busters are vowing to do all they can to clean up the city’s walls and gables.
The Triax Neighbourhood Management Team (TNMT) made the pledge after community workers were targeted by thugs believed to be linked to dissident republican paramilitaries.
Two community workers involved in the removal of graffiti - including the painting over of a slogan praising the murder of PSNI Constable Ronan Kerr - had their cars attacked in recent days.
However, the graffiti clean-up being spearheaded by the TNMT is continuing throughout the Bogside, Bishop Street, Brandywell and Creggan areas with the support of the NIHE, Derry City Council and Apex Housing.
Speaking to the ‘Journal’ yesterday, Colm Barton, Development Worker with the TNMT, said the hard working team was making a real difference to the appearance of the city centre communities.
He said the team will “not be deterred” from its job by threats or attacks and appealed for members of the public to report any incidences of graffiti in the area.
He also pointed out that the team worked hard to remove all forms of graffiti whatever the message, political or otherwise. As well as painting over pro-dissident republican slogans and all kinds of other graffiti, the team has removed many anti-dissident republican messages in recent weeks.
Mr Barton said: “We’re determined to continue the good work. Since the start of the year volunteers and workers with the TNMT have been engaged in the systematic removal of graffiti in the Bogside, Bishop Street, Brandywell and Creggan areas.
“During this period we have removed literally hundreds of pieces of graffiti from gable walls, fences and properties across the district and have been complemented by numerous residents for working to improve the physical appearance of the area.
“As we approach the summer months we are determined to continue working with local residents and groups to ensure the area’s appearance is maintained to the highest standards.”
Mr Barton also paid tribute to the local authorities for supporting the project.
“This work would not have been possible without the support of our partners in the NIHE and Derry City Council, and we are delighted that in recent weeks Apex Housing Association have also come on board.
“Unsightly graffiti has long been identified by residents as one of the major contributing factors to an area being run down looking and we are proud of the contribution the TNMT has made in addressing this problem.”
Mr Barton concluded: “As this work progresses I am appealing to residents living within the Triax area who become aware of graffiti in their area to contact us.
“For people living in Creggan they can contact the TNMT in the Corn Beef Tin on 02871 281900 and for people living in the Bogside, Brandywell and Bishop Street areas they can contact the TNMT in the Gasyard on 02871 261916.”