SDLP East Derry MLA Cara Hunter has described graffiti targeting James Nesbitt in Portrush as sickening.
Ms Hunter, who lives in the area, said those behind the graffiti do not speak for people in Portrush.
She expressed her solidarity with Mr Nesbitt, with the graffiti appearing shortly after his appearance at an Ireland’s Future event in Dublin.
East Derry MLA Ms Hunter said:
“I am absolutely sickened at the disgraceful graffiti that has appeared in Portrush targeting James Nesbitt following his appearance at an Ireland’s Future event in Dublin this month. Whoever carried out this act does not have the support of people in Portrush, who are rightly proud that Mr Nesbitt calls this area home and are grateful for all the work he has done in promoting it over the years.
“This attempt to shut down conversation around our constitutional future is a sinister development and I am glad to see it has been condemned by those right across the political spectrum. Everyone is free to express their own opinion on the future of these islands, but they do not have the right to intimidate anyone else simply for engaging in the debate.
“If we are truly going to build a shared future then we need a wide range of voices contributing to make that possible. Nobody should feel they are unable to take part in that discussion because of incidents like this. I would encourage anyone with any information about what happened here to come forward to police and express my full solidarity with Mr Nesbitt following this incident.”