Sinister graffiti targets prison staff

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Sinister graffiti revealing what is believed to be the names of Northern Ireland prison officers has appeared on walls in Londonderry’s Creggan estate.

The graffiti includes a number of names, what appears to be the crosshairs of a target, and the slogan, ‘Maghaberry human rights abusers!’.

It appeared this week on walls facing on to the Central Drive area of the city.

The emergence of the graffiti comes at a time of deteriorating relations between the prison authorities and violent republican groups, many of whose members are currently in Maghaberry prison, near Lisburn.

In 2012, prison officer David Black was shot dead as he drove to work at Maghaberry while, just last year, Adrian Ismay, a prison officer from Belfast, died from a suspected heart attack just days after a bomb partially exploded underneath his van.

A group styling itself as the ‘IRA’ claimed both attacks.

DUP MLA Gary Middleton says the appearance of the graffiti in Creggan is alarming. “This is a very sinister act which must be condemned,” he said.

“I have been in contact with the PSNI to urge them to ensure this disturbing graffiti is removed as soon as possible.

“There is no place for these threats within our society.”