Councilor McFlynn said: “I am very disappointed at the vandalism of bilingual road signs in the Loo and Moneymore area.

“At a time when the census shows that Northern Ireland is becoming a more diverse and balanced society, the intolerance and bigotry demonstrated by these acts of vandalism are a thing of the past.

“Mid Ulster Council has a longstanding policy of allowing residents to request the use of signs in their area.

One of the defaced bilingual road signs in the Moneymore area.

“After agreement, bilingual road signs are installed only with the consent of the majority of local residents.

“So it is very disappointing to see these signs being sprayed and in some cases removed entirely.

“I have reported the damaged signs to Council staff and repairs will be carried out in due course.

“Damaging traffic signs is a criminal offense and those found guilty may be fined.

“I also believe that the PSNI should treat these acts of vandalism as hate crimes and allocate the appropriate resources to arrest and charge those responsible.”

The Mid-Ulster Council area has seen a series of attacks on bilingual signs in recent years.

Nationalist councilors called for an end to vandalism and respect for all residents of the district.

The bill to remove the damaged signs and replace them is in the thousands of pounds.

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