Incidents of sectarian graffiti have more than doubled in Glasgow – and most of the crimes target Catholics.

According to data obtained by the Scottish Catholic Observer through a Freedom of Information request, Glasgow City Council was asked to clean up 83 incidents of bigoted scrawls in 2015 and 188 in 2016.

The rise appears to be continuing: there were 56 sectarian graffiti incidents in just the first three months of this year.

Some of the graffiti targeted schools, so that children were barred from their playground owing to its sectarian and vulgar nature. Other graffiti came from both sides of the Celtic and Rangers football rivalry, with derogatory comments made about the Pope and Catholics.

Anti-Catholic graffiti used earlier this year saw distressing phrases such as “Kill all taigs”, a derogatory term used to refer to Irish Catholics, written on public property.

Peter Kearney, director of the Scottish Catholic Media Office, said: “Religious intolerance, whether verbal or visual is always unacceptable. Recent religious hate crime statistics showed that although Catholics account for just 16 per cent of the population, 57 per cent of all such crime targets Catholics or Catholicism. It appears that graffiti in our largest city seems to mirror this saddening disparity.”

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