Referendum campaigns hit by vandalism

A Yes Equality campaign sign at a roundabout on the N63 road was badly damaged by vandals.
The local Yes Equality group were left “shocked and disgusted” in recent days, as they were targeted by “petty” vandals.

The local Yes Equality group were left “shocked and disgusted” in recent days, as they were targeted by “petty” vandals.

With little over two weeks to go until the people of Ireland vote on two referenda, the Marriage referendum is taking precedence and campaigning has reached fever pitch.

Having independently erected signage throughout the town and further afield in support of their campaign, the Yes Equality organisation were disheartened to find that three of their timber ‘YES’ signs had been tampered with.

Thought to have occurred between Sunday night and Monday morning, one of the signs disappeared from the Red Cow roundabout, while the letter ‘E’ was taken from another on the way into Longford town from Drumlish.

However, it was the destruction of one sign on the N63, which had only been put in place a day previous, that caused the most outrage amongst the group.

“The one at the N63 is an act of wanton vandalism,” said spokesperson Declan Donohoe. “We are just disgusted by it.

“Given that we are a voluntary group campaigning on the referendum, for someone to do this is very disheartening.”

Believing it to be the work of non-voters, Declan continued, “we feel that somebody had to get out of the car and make the effort to go out and destroy it as they did.”

Describing the act as a “destruction of positivity”, Declan added that they have since repaired and replaced the signs as best they can, and will continue to campaign with renewed vigour.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Mothers and Fathers Matter said he did not know of any specific instsances of vandalism of their ‘No’ posters in Longford but claimed they group has seen several instances of people encouraging others to destroy or remove their posters, while some have taken to social media to boast about defacing or acquiring the No side’s signs.