Graffiti attack on Walls condemned

Mark Lusby.

Mark Lusby.

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The Friends of the Derry Walls have condemned a graffiti attack on the western ramparts of the Derry Walls.

Speaking after a visit to inspect the damage, Mark Lusby, Project Coordinator for the Friends, described the 400 year old ramparts as “one of the city’s most precious artefacts”.

A section of the Derry walls was targeted by vandals on Wednesday.

A section of the Derry walls was targeted by vandals on Wednesday.

“The Derry Walls are a living monument, made of natural stone and providing a habitat for specialised plants and associated wildlife,” he said.

“Every time that the Department for Communities has to engage contractors to apply chemical and mechanical treatments to remove graffiti, the integrity of the grey-green schist stones and the lime mortar is undermined with the stones progressively flaking and the mortar becoming friable. In addition, the plants and lichens are removed at one stroke and it takes years for the ‘bleached-new’ appearance of the Walls to acquire the patina common to ancient monuments.

Established as the voice of the Walls, as well as encouraging public agencies to deliver on obligations to protect the Walls, are keen to understand why some people deem it is acceptable to use one the national monument as a canvas for political and personal expression.

“We have been helping the Council with the content for the Walled City Signage Scheme. We want to encourage as many visitors as possible to take a walk around the outside to get the best views of the monument. In the longer term this will create opportunities for small businesses. Graffiti attacks on the Walls and the impact of the repeated graffiti-removal both delay the achievement of these important job creation outcomes. The Friends welcome cross-community support for valuing of the Derry Walls.”