Outrage at swastikas and IRA graffiti on wall in north-east town

Councillor Iain Taylor at the graffitied wall
Councillor Iain Taylor at the graffitied wall

Residents of a north-east town have spoken of their shock after swastikas and sectarian graffiti was daubed on a wall.

People visiting The Haughs near Turriff Boating Pond in the past few days have noticed a disused building known as the den covered in graffiti, which includes several Nazi symbols and messages of support for the IRA.

Aberdeenshire Council said it is trying to remove the graffiti as soon as possible and would report the matter to Police Scotland.

Police appealed for anyone with information about the incident to get in touch.

One trader, who asked not to be named, said: “I live in the town and I was shocked to see this.

“It is absolutely disgusting what they have done there.

“The swastikas are particularly offensive, especially when you consider the D-Day anniversary was only the other week.

“There is no place for the sectarian messages either.

“I hope someone who knows who is responsible can tell the police so this is stopped.”

Turriff and District Councillor Iain Taylor said: “It’s very offensive.

“The word ‘disappointed’ is not strong enough.

“Someone spraying paint about is bad enough, but the content of it here is poor to say the least. It’s left to the council to clean it up, which is a real shame.

“On previous occasions where there has been graffiti, people within the community have taken it upon themselves to clean it up which is great to see.

“We really need to educate those people who did this about why their behaviour is totally out of order.”

The issue will be discussed at the next meeting of The Haughs Redevelopment Partnership Group, which brings together Aberdeenshire Council, sports clubs and organisations such as Friends of the Den.

Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter

An Aberdeenshire Council spokeswoman said: “It is very disappointing the pavilion has been vandalised – particularly as so many community groups are working with the council and other partners to make the Haughs a welcoming space which is accessible to all.

“We all want this area to encourage physical activity and wellbeing and also to be an attractive, biodiverse green space.

“In particular the up-and-coming Turriff Show, which takes place in The Haughs, is a fantastic showcase event attracting thousands from across Turriff, Aberdeenshire and beyond – and this type of vandalism is unwelcome.”

She added: “The next steps are for our landscape colleagues to repaint the pavilion and we will be looking at preventative measures to try and stop future vandalism.”

Councillor Alastair Forsyth said: “Clearly this is an appalling display of highly offensive graffiti.

“The author is more to be pitied than scorned for their total misunderstanding and offence they have brought about in what they have written.

“I hope there is a successful prosecution brought and should anyone have any information about the offender then I would encourage them to contact the police.”

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said the incident had not yet been reported.

She added: “We would of course encourage anyone with information to report this to police.”