Fans who scrawled anti-Catholic graffiti on Dumbarton’s Denny Tank Museum have been called “nonsense”.
Vile posts daubed with blue and black spray paint were noticed on the building on Thursday last week, the day after the Old Firm clash between Celtic and Rangers.
Dumbarton Councilor Karen Conaghan, who had previously highlighted anti-Catholic graffiti locally while calling for more education in schools to combat bigotry, said she was upset by the messages.
The SNP member told Lennox: “This senseless vandalism is disgusting on multiple levels.
“The money that needs to be spent cleaning this up could certainly be better spent elsewhere.
“It is disgusting that our scarce resources are being spent on removing this bile.
“It’s also quite depressing that despite the steps we’re taking to educate people about the often devastating effects of sectarianism and hate, we still see things like this on a fairly regular basis.
“Ignorance is at the root of this, you really have to be stupid to think someone should be targeted because of where they come from or what religion they belong to, and breaking the cycle of generational intolerance and hatred is challenging. but we have to keep trying.
“Fortunately, the good and decent people of this area vastly outnumber those who perpetrate this stupid behavior and I know they will continue to condemn this stain on our society.”
Dave Scott, director of the anti-sectarian charity Nil by Mouth, echoed Councilor Conaghan’s comments.
He said: “There is always a high level of ignorance and arrogance about people who paint public buildings, as if their views deserve to be heard more than anyone else’s. But adding direct threats to Catholics in this way is not just antisocial behavior but a religiously aggravated hate crime and should be treated as such by society.
“Hopefully the police can use CCTV to catch the fans behind this and they will face the full consequences of their actions in court.
“We reported this to the council and it is depressing to think that in the midst of a cost of living crisis, public money has to be spent cleaning up after sectarian assholes.
“We estimate that one in four reported graffiti incidents in Scotland have a hate crime element and we urge people to report what they see and know.
“We would also like to see children’s courts and panels look at ways to ensure that people involved in such crimes clean up similar displays of hate to help redress their behaviour.
“All credit to the council for removing this so quickly; It’s the kind of response we need.”
While speaking to Labor MSP for Dumbarton, Jackie Baillie added: “This is absolutely despicable. I cannot understand why anyone would put such offensive slogans on a museum that celebrates Dumbarton’s rich shipbuilding history.”