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20th Oct 2018

PIC: A Sign Saying ‘No Irish No Gays’ Was Hung On This Bridge Yesterday

Darragh Berry

A sign saying “no Irish, no gays” was hung over bridge 18, on the M1 going eastbound.

The picture was described as a “sickening display” and one that thousands of commuters were greeted with during the week.

Sinn Féin MLA Declan Kearney has condemned those responsible for erecting an offensive sign on the M1.

The South Antrim MLA said:

“It is reprehensible in this day and age that someone would erect such a sign. However, it is not surprising. This racist and homophobic action is a direct consequence of the failure in leadership specifically within the DUP, and political unionism more generally.

“Over the summer the largest, most vibrant, colourful Pride parades took place across Ireland, and thousands of people have also taken to the streets in support of Acht Gaelige.

“This sent a clear message that the tide is changing.

“The majority of MLAs and people in the north support marriage equality and language rights being extended to the north. They are fed up to the back teeth with this sort of vile bigotry and intolerance.

“If the DUP and others will not end their denial of rights, then the Irish and British governments must act to deliver on citizens’ rights in this state. The denial of parity of esteem to Irish citizens in the north, and equality for the LGBT community should be addressed as a priority at the next meeting of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference.

“I have reported this sign as a hate crime to the PSNI and called for its immediate removal.”

SDLP MLA for Lagan Valley Pat Catney also condemned the xenophobic banner stating that it is “despicable and does not belong in 2018.”

“For too long anti-Irish rhetoric was deemed acceptable across these islands. These days are long gone and despite the best efforts of some, they aren’t coming back.

“Likewise, spray can warriors will not hold back the progression of LGBT+ rights here in the North. These views are not representative of the majority of people in Northern Ireland and they will not be tolerated.”