A SPATE of paint bomb attacks on a mural featuring Northern Ireland football team captain Steven Davis has been condemned.
Four attacks in consecutive weeks have taken place on the mural at a quiet crossroads near Davis’ home area of Cullybackey.
Paint has been splattered across a mural of Davis at the former Tullygrawley National School and paint was also lobbed at an adjacent mural commemorating World War One.
The murals were put up in recent years in place of a Red Hand of Ulster image which also had been paint-bombed on a number of occasions.
The Davis and WW1 murals were painted by Craig Gilmore who runs the Chilli Pepper Tattoo studio in Cullybackey.
His wife Sharon Gilmore said Craig had stood in the cold doing the paintings and had invested time and money in the murals.
She has slammed the paint bombers.
She said: “The Steven Davis mural was put up because he was a local hero and he captained Northern Ireland who did so well at the European Championships.
“The other mural which was also paint-bombed was of the Ulster Tower and poppies and represents everybody who gave their lives in World War One. It was very disrespectful to paint bomb the murals.”
She said the murals were hit four times in recent months.
Mrs Gilmore said the attacks on the Davis mural coincided with speculation about and his subsequent signing in recent months for Rangers on loan from Southampton.
She said her husband intends to clean the paint off and restore the murals.
Local Traditional Unionist Voice councillor Timothy Gaston condemned the paint-bombing.
He said: “This mural was put up because Steven Davis was such an inspiration to local people. He is a local hero.
“The attack on the World War One-themed mural is also disgraceful,” the councillor added.
Mr Gaston added: “I was disappointed to see that the mural of Steve Davis was paint bombed.
“This mindless act of vandalism on a the mural which celebrates our local NI Captain whilst commemorating local men and woman who died in the World Wars serves no purpose or advances no political cause.
“I know Craig is committed to repainting the mural and I must commend him for the time and money he has invested into bringing the old school wall to life.”