A message stamped onto a fiver saying ‘All foreigners, time to go home’, has been condemned as “pathetic”.
The bank note was used to pay for goods at a shop in Ballymena in recent days.
A shopkeeper, who didn’t wish to be named, said: “It appears as somebody has set up a ‘stamp’ with this message on it and are probably putting it on a number of notes knowing money obviously spreads widely”.
In the past pound coins had messages like ‘IRA’ and ‘UVF’ stamped on them but this is believed to be the first time a message referring to ‘foreigners’ has been been spotted on local bank notes.
Meanwhile, former Mayor of Ballymena, Councillor Audrey Wales (DUP) – who used to work in retail in the town – slammed those behind the stamped message on the £5 note.
She told ‘Ballymena Daily’: “It’s a bit pathetic”.
The councillor added that Ballymena relies on foreign nationals in many sectors who “contribute a lot to our economy”.
Mrs Wales said it should be remembered that people from Ulster and Ireland were once “the most travelled people on the planet and people would have viewed us as ‘foreigners’.”
Added the councillor: “We have to be tolerant of everybody”.
She said a foreign national receiving one of these fivers may feel “very hurt by it”.
After the story was revealed on ‘Ballymena Daily’, East Antrim Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson tweeted: “Disgusted that someone would do this”.