POLICE PROBE AFTER GRAFITTI NAMING PRISON OFFICERS DAUBED ON DERRY WALL
THE PSNI have launched an investigation after the names of what are believed to be prison officers were painted on a wall in Derry.
It has been claimed the names along with a sniper’s crosshairs appeared close to Creggan shops earlier this week.
According to The Irish News, the words “We only have to be lucky once” and the letters ‘IRA’ were also painted on a nearby wall in the republican area.
The words ‘Maghaberry human rights abusers’ were also daubed on another wall.
it is claimed the names of the same group of prison officers were put on walls in the Creggan area last month but were later removed.
PSNI Chief Inspector Alan Hutton said: “Police in Derry are aware of graffiti that appeared in the Creggan area of the city yesterday, Tuesday 9th January, including on a wall close to shops in the Central Drive area of Creggan and on a wall in Ramore Gardens in Ballymagowan.
“Enquiries are ongoing.
“Police were present on Wednesday morning, at the request of the Department of Justice, when a private contractor was brought in to remove the graffiti.”
The newspaper says that it is believed the prison officers identified are based at the high-security Maghaberry jail.
Tensions between staff and republican inmates at the Co Antrim prison have been high in recent years.
Two prison officers have also been killed by the organisation known as the ‘IRA’, which is sometimes referred to as the New IRA.
Prison Officers Association chairman Ivor Dunne last night condemned the graffiti.
He said the previous graffiti identifying prison officers was “extremely distressing” for those named.
“It is very serious whenever staff have been singled out,” he said.
“Staff are carrying out their job with impartiality and with dignity.”
Mr Dunne also said such incidents have “ramifications on people’s families and home life” and he wanted to reiterate “how despicable an action this is, for young staff to put on the uniform and are underpaid for the job they do and people seem to forget that”.
In November 2012 David Black was shot dead as he made his way to work at Maghaberry Prison along the M1 motorway.
Adrian Ismay, who worked as a tutor in the Prison Service College, also died 11 days after a bomb exploded under his van in east Belfast in March 2016.
During the Troubles prison staff were also regularly targeted, with the vast majority of attacks being carried out by republicans.
Meanwhile, sectarian graffiti scrawled on a factory wall in west Belfast has been removed.
The slogan ‘FG’s loyalist not welcome’ appeared on the wall of the Caterpillar plant, a former FG Wilson base, close to the Springfield Road on Monday.
Trade unions and politicians had condemned the incident.