Slieve Croob Ulster Unionist Councillor Alan Lewis has said that sinister graffiti which has appeared in his constituency won’t deter him from doing his job.
Councillor Lewis, from Clough in County Down, was elected onto Newry, Mourne & Down Council last year and is also a victims’ campaigner working for the South East Fermanagh foundation.
Councillor Alan Lewis said:
“I’m shocked but not surprised at this incident whereby threatening graffiti was painted on a road sign on the Drumcaw Road between Castlewellan and Clough. Unfortunately I am used to receiving verbal and online abuse, which has almost become second nature, but what makes this incident more sinister is the fact that I was in the area visiting a constituent and travelled along the road an hour before it appeared.
“I work on behalf of everyone regardless of creed or culture and I will not be deterred from doing my job. Many people within the South Down area lived through the worst of the Troubles, some with routine threats and attempts on their lives. Those responsible for this graffiti are wannabe gangsters living in the past, romanticising over a bygone era. They don’t intimidate me.
“Obviously my family is concerned and I do have two young children. I have taken advice from the police on my safety. The people behind this graffiti need to grow up and wise up.
“This type of incident is exactly why people do not want to get involved in politics. I help constituents right across the district and I focus on bread and butter issues, but there remain some within this area who seek to cause division, raise tension and whip up hate for their own malicious ends.
“This is 2020 yet just last year two mortar devices were found in the same area. I want to see the police put anyone who is still wedded to violence out of business permanently so the rest of us can normalise politics, stamp out terrorism and wipe out hate.”