A Garda presence is needed on a regular basis in Gort na mBro to both deter and catch who is daubing walls in the area with racist graffiti according to local resident John Connolly.
Residents in Gort na mBro in Rahoon have come out strongly to condemn the racist graffiti that has been daubed on walls, signposts, and hoarding in their area. The most common slogan is ‘Go home Roma scum’, while the entrance stone to the estate has also been daubed with the words ‘Monkey Close’.
The area is home to many African, Asian, and Eastern European families and native Irish residents are shocked and disgusted by the graffiti and concerned for their foreign born neighbours and the reputation of the community.
“We are very angry about this,” said resident and former city councillor John Connolly. “This is something that has been happening a good few times and we feel the estate is being targeted. It is obviously being carried out by someone who hasn’t a great level of education.”
Mr Connolly said local residents want those who are the victims of such graffiti to know they are welcome in the neighbourhood and that those who hold anti-immigrant or racist views are in the minority.
“I think non-nationals know they are welcome to live here,” he said, “and that this is a minority opinion. This is being carried out by somebody that wants to wreck the place and be destructive, rather than hate aimed at them.”
Gort na mBro residents have been out cleaning the graffiti whenever it appears and have received help from the Galway City Council to do so. Others have covered over the racist slogans with their own graffiti, which says ‘This is Home’ and ‘All are welcome here’, etc.
However the graffiti has kept appearing and Mr Connolly is calling on the gardaí to maintain a greater presence in the area to act as a deterrent to whoever is doing this.
“The graffiti happens at night but I’m amazed that nobody has seen them yet,” said Mr Connolly, “but if there was a Garda presence on a regular basis it might deter them.”