POLICE IN Northern Ireland are treating graffiti targeting actor James Nesbitt as a hate crime.
The graffiti appeared in the Portrush Road area of the north cost town on Wednesday.
The Bloodlands actor last month appeared at the Ireland's Future event in Dublin which heard from various contributors on the prospect of a united Ireland.
The graffiti is believed to have been written on the wall sometime between 5pm on Tuesday and 7.30pm on Wednesday evening and is being treated as a hate crime.
Politicians have condemned the message and have described it as an attempt to intimidate and stifle debate.
The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) politician Gregory Campbell said: "Jimmy Nesbitt is a local lad who has invested in his own community.
"Those painting threatening graffiti such as this should stop," said the MP, in whose East Londonderry constituency the graffiti was daubed.
"Their actions are wrong and to be condemned.
"I fundamentally disagree with Mr Nesbitt's position on Northern Ireland's future but he has every right to express his political views in whatever forum he wishes."
Writing on Twitter, former Northern Ireland First Minister Dame Arlene Foster said: "I totally condemn this attack on James Nesbitt even though I fundamentally disagree with him."
Caoimhe Archibald, a Sinn Féin assembly member for East Londonderry, said the graffiti was a "sinister effort to silence debate" and she called for those behind it to be held accountable.
The SDLP's Cara Hunter, who also represents the constituency, described the graffiti as "absolutely disgraceful".
Enquiries are ongoing and officers would ask anyone with any information to contact them in Coleraine on 101, quoting reference number 1677 19/10/22.
You can also submit a report online using the non-emergency reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/ or you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at http://crimestoppers-uk.org/.