The work of a voluntary group in improving Cork's derelict and run-down areas is being vandalised with hate speech graffiti.
The vandal, known by their signature 'Aero', has defaced the work of Mad About Cork around the city, in addition to shop fronts, bus stops and public spaces.
The group has been lauded for their work in painting walls and post boxes and planting flowers in run down areas of the city. They do all their work on a voluntary basis and provide all materials at their own cost.
However, the vandal has spray painted anti-British graffiti on some of the group's murals.
Mad About Cork has worked with school children, special needs groups and mental health charities to create their art which has received the approval of Cork City Council.
Artist Alan Hurley of Mad About Cork said vandalism has not been an issue for them up to now and they have enjoyed a great relationship with Cork artists in all different fields.
While he hopes Gardaí can identify the person soon, he said the vandal will not discourage the group from the work they do and has even offered the person to come froward and join them.
“He could always just join us and we wouldn't do anything to him, we'd just do some art together in a positive way instead of just writing his name down on a wall,” he said.
Lord Mayor Des Cahill has called on the person carrying out the defacing of the work to use their graffiti abilities in a positive manner and took to social media to express his anger.
“Spray paint artists have a great opportunity to work with [Reimagine Cork and Mad About Cork]. Please use your energy to improve rather than vandal our City,” he tweeted.
Cork North-Central councillor Kenneth O'Flynn described the vandal as an “idiot” and said the issue meant that Council would have to revisit their graffiti bylaws.
“I think it's very upsetting to see the tremendous work that is being done by volunteers in the city spoiled. If it wasn't for our amazing volunteers, we wouldn't have half the city we have. It's very disheartening to see some idiot is writing all these things,” he told the Evening Echo.
“It's obviously someone that is very ill informed, ignorant and with no civil respect for the city. It's horrible people like that should be prosecuted to the letter of the law."