Coatbridge war memorial vandalised with pro-IRA graffiti

A memorial dedicated to World War I soldiers has been targeted by vandals who daubed pro-IRA graffiti over its walls. Picture: SWNS
A memorial dedicated to World War I soldiers has been targeted by vandals who daubed pro-IRA graffiti over its walls. Picture: SWNS
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Police Scotland are searching for a group who vandalised a Cenotaph with pro-IRA graffiti.

The memorial in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, was targeted by who used white paint to scrawl messages over the monument to the fallen from the Great War.

The memorial is in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire. Picture: SWNS

The memorial is in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire. Picture: SWNS

Republican slogans were scrawled on the memorial and in some cases across the names of soldiers who died fighting.

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The Cenotaph was built to honour the memory of soldiers who were killed between 1914-1918 and features hundreds of names of soldiers who came from Coatbridge and surrounding villages.

No paint was put on separate monuments for World War II which also feature the names of hundreds of fallen soldiers.

We are totally outraged at this heartless attack on the war memorial

Councillor Jim Robertson, provost of North Lanarkshire

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The damage was discovered on Monday night at the site near the town’s west end park. It is visited every year for Remembrance Sunday by veterans and dignitaries.

As well as references to the IRA, the year of the Easter Rising, 1916, has also been daubed on the monument.

Council staff were at the site today removing the damage that has sparked outrage and seen Coatbridge police launch an investigation and appeal for information in catching the culprits.

A memorial dedicated to World War I soldiers has been targeted by vandals who daubed pro-IRA graffiti over its walls. Picture: SWNS

A memorial dedicated to World War I soldiers has been targeted by vandals who daubed pro-IRA graffiti over its walls. Picture: SWNS

Councillor Jim Robertson, provost of North Lanarkshire, said: “We are totally outraged at this heartless attack on the war memorial in Coatbridge which remembers the lives of people who died protecting our freedoms.

“Our workers are on site just now to repair the damage.

“I strongly urge anyone with information to contact the police; and I hope that once the people responsible are caught that they are educated about their actions.”

Locals spoke of their disgust at the incident.

Local resident Jim Malone, 74, said: “This is absolutely disgusting. What kind of mentality do these people have when they think this is an acceptable thing to do.

“The sad thing is that those responsible could be related to people on this monument and they have just defaced it without a care in the world.

“They should be ashamed of themselves and I hope whoever is responsible is caught quickly and punished.

“It’s a disgraceful way to act and extremely disrespectful to people who have given their lives fighting for the country.”

Inspector Louise Brownlie of Coatbridge Police said: “We have received several reports of vandalism at the Coatbridge Cenotaph.

“This senseless act has no place in our community and we are attempting to trace the persons responsible.

“That area is a priority route for our dedicated community policing teams and we will continue to engage with local residents on this issue.

“Our partners at North Lanarkshire Council will shortly be removing the graffiti from the Cenotaph.”

Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to contact community police at Coatbridge on 101.

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