Co Donegal councillor continues to support defacing of bilingual road signs

A Co Donegal councillor is continuing to support the defacing of bilingual road signs across the county.

Place names in English have been painted out with a red 'X', while Irish names are left untouched.

Over 30 signs stretching from west Donegal to the border with Northern Ireland have been spray painted.

They were first noticed last August but no one has claimed responsibility.

The chair of Donegal County Council’s Irish language committee says he applauds those responsible.

Cllr Micheal Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig says it is a protest to highlight a lack of support for native Irish speakers in Donegal’s Gaeltacht areas.

“It’s a very clear political statement," he told UTV.

"Listen to us. Invest in us and do not continue to ignore us. So I applaud them and I absolutely encourage them to continue."

But another Independent councillor is describing what has happened as vandalism.

Dunfannaghy-based councillor Michael McClafferty fears the spray painted signs are not welcoming to visitors and also damage the image of Donegal.

“It’s criminality," he says.

"It is doing nothing for the Irish language and whoever is behind this graffiti on the signs should just stop it."

Gardai  launched an investigation.

It’s estimated that the damage caused will cost Donegal County Council in excess of €5,000 to repair.