The man behind an image of edited paramilitary graffiti in Strabane said he is pleased and relieved at the positive reaction it has had from more than 2,000 Twitter users so far.
Chris McLaughlin, 28, took it upon himself to add a few letters to the graffiti which adorned the wall in an estate in his hometown that sits by a busy road.
It originally read ‘Join the IRA’ and had been on the wall in what Chris said was “quite a prominent location” for a few months.
Last week he bought a can of spray paint and edited the phrase to read ‘Join the library’.
Although Chris originally posted a picture of the reworked graffiti on his own private Facebook page under the caption ‘Improving Strabane one step at a time’, it was the snap tweeted by Londonderry author Brian McGilloway that brought the image worldwide attention.
Retweeted by 2,000 people in less than 24 hours, including Hollywood actress Minnie Driver, the image is now being hailed by Strabane Library as their best ever recruitment campaign.
Speaking to the News Letter on Monday Chris, a broadcaster who also runs a poetry club in Belfast, said he was shocked at the level of attention the image gained but relieved it had been positive.
“I suppose I was a wee bit worried about any negative reaction it might get,” said Chris, a self-proclaimed grammar enthusiast, adding that his moment of inspiration came when he noticed the misplaced apostrophe.
While he does not know who is responsible for the original piece of graffiti, Chris said he hopes some good has come from what started out as a tongue-in-cheek move.
“Maybe people will see the wit over something that is long past having any meaning,” he said.
One Twitter user said it was a “super-positive way to start a week”.