By Rebecca Black, PA
Police in Northern Ireland are making enquiries following the daubing of pro-Russian graffiti at a Game of Thrones filming location.
The graffiti – ‘Z glory to Russia’ – written in large words and referring to the symbol Z painted on Russian tanks during the Ukraine invasion, appeared on the road at the Dark Hedges in Co Antrim.
The tree-lined route became world famous when it was featured in the HBO fantasy series and now attracts significant numbers of tourists.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland confirmed they have received a report that graffiti had been daubed on a tunnel at the Dark Hedges in the Bregagh Road area of Armoy.
Ukrainian refugees welcomed to Ballymoney despite graffiti https://t.co/kNsHqX3wkn via @duponline
Mervyn Storey @J_Donaldson_MP
— DUP (@duponline) April 23, 2022
A spokesperson said: “Enquiries are ongoing.”
The incident comes as a number of Ukrainian refugees fleeing the Russian invasion of their country started to arrive in Northern Ireland.
DUP North Antrim Assembly Candidate Mervyn Storey said the sentiment of the graffiti is completely at odds with the welcome that arriving Ukrainian refugees have received to the area.
“This is a wanton act of vandalism at one of Northern Ireland’s most iconic locations,” he said.
“It is completely at odds with the warm welcome our local community provides to tourists from all over the world who come to see what the Dark Hedges and the North Coast have to offer.”
Mr Storey said he has recently been able to welcome refugees from Ukraine into his church community.
“It is despicable that they should have to encounter this type of behaviour glorifying Russia’s oppressive campaign of terror in their homeland.
“Our support must be with the people of Ukraine,” he said.
“I will be working closely with local authorities and the PSNI to ensure this graffiti is removed immediately and those responsible held to account.”