21 January 1999 Edition

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Hospital orderlies wrote sectarian graffiti

By Peadar Whelan

The graffitti written by Royal Hospital orderlies: ``Alex M. Its a pity Alan didn't finish the porch. Merry Xmas. 2nd Batt UFF. We haven't gone away U know''
Orderlies working in Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital wrote threatening sectarian graffiti in the reception area of the specialist secure unit where they work, An Phoblacht has learned.

The graffiti, which refers to Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey and party worker Alan Lundy, who was shot dead by loyalists in 1994 while working in Maskey's home, was written at a time when a relative of the Sinn Fein Assembly member was being treated in the unit, Ward 26.

Alex Maskey visited his relative on a number of occasions and he told us that, ``as far as I'm concerned this is a threat. The writing refers to me and Alan Lundy and mentions the 2nd battalion of the UFF who killed Alan.

``I want a meeting with the hospital authorities to raise the issue of sectarianism in the hospital. People receiving treatment or visiting shouldn't have to suffer this''.

According to the information we have been given the orderlies responsible for the graffiti regularly come in to work wearing Rangers football shirts and wrote the sinister threat in an area that the general public would not have access to.

Ward 26 is actually administered by the Mater Hospital even though it is sited behind the Royal's main hospital building.

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