BY Ryan McDougall | January 10 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

irvine graffiti

Concern over spate of anti-Catholic and anti-Irish graffiti

The Catholic Church has said anti-Catholic graffiti scrawled at the side of one of Scotland’s busiest motorways is ‘very saddening’ and the problem is not merely ‘a historic one’.

Slurs such as ‘Kill all taigs’ and ‘fenian [sic] scum’ were found spray-painted under the Kingston Bridge on Glasgow’s M8 motorway.

This week Scotland TranServ, which manages the motorway, confirmed that it has removed several instances of anti-Catholic graffiti dubbed on the busy road.

‘Fck CFC [Celtic Football Club]’ and another slur, which was scored out, were also reported to Scotland TranServ, the part of Transport Scotland that deals with strategic trunk road management.


Contemporary problem

A spokesman for the Church said: “The fact that religious intolerance in Scotland is evident in such instances of graffiti is very saddening. As with other examples of anti-Catholicism, tackling the problem first requires that it be accurately measured.

“Any measurement should include a record of the damage caused, the costs of cleaning and the nature and location of the graffiti. The fact such incidents are still taking place would tend to suggest anti-Catholicism, is sadly, not simply a historic problem.”

The Kingston Bridge crosses the River Clyde, Glasgow, and carries the M8 through the city centre. The bridge is one of the busiest in Europe, carrying around 150,000 vehicles each day.

A spokesman for Scotland TranServ highlighted the disruption such instances cause to its workers and the public, having had to close lanes as the graffiti was removed.



He said: “Scotland TranServ operatives have been removing graffiti from multiple sites in the Glasgow area, and have sacrificed essential road maintenance works to do so. These matters have been reported to Police Scotland.

“In order to protect the safety of our workers and the travelling public it is necessary to implement traffic management, causing disruption to drivers.

“We would like to thank motorists for their patience while this vandalism was removed and encourage them to report such instances on our network directly using out Report-A-Defect page [on Scotland TranServ’s website], or should they witness it, to call Police Scotland immediately.”

Meanwhile, anti-Catholic graffiti spray-painted across a wall in Irvine has been removed, North Ayrshire Council has confirmed.



The derogatory slogan daubed on the Redburn Community Centre, read: “Taigs not welcome.” It was first noticed on Sunday, December 29.

‘Taig’ is an offensive term, initially cast at Irish Catholics living in Northern Ireland, although the insult has been widely used in Scotland as a derogatory term for people of Irish ancestry.

The graffiti was noticed by Marcus White, who photographed the slur and highlighted it on Twitter.

He said: “Religious sectarianism is a stain on our society and we should all try to call it out without fear or favour.”


‘Disappointing’ behaviour

Mr White believes the vandalism took place late on Saturday, December 28.

A spokesman for North Ayrshire Council confirmed the graffiti was removed last week.

He added: “It is always disappointing to receive vandalism reports of this nature. We would urge anyone who has information on those responsible for the graffiti to contact police.”

However, a Police Scotland spokesman said: “This has not been reported to police, and as such there is no enquiry at present.

“We would encourage the public to report such matters to us, so we can investigate the crime and work with the relevant partners to have the vandalism removed as soon as possible.”

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