Residents have complained of more sick rival sectarian graffiti in town – after a hangman and offensive message were left on a busy Irvine walkway.

Irvine Old Firm fans were disgusted to see rival graffiti ahead of Ranger’s 1-0 win over Celtic in the New Year derby – with a “F*** the Huns” sticker spotted by residents at Stanecastle Roundabout.

This comes after the Times previously reported complaints after a stickman hanging from their neck with a Celtic scarf was spotted beneath Irvine’s Marress Road Bridge next to a tag reading “F*** Taigs”.

A spokesperson for North Ayrshire Council said: “Graffiti is not only unsightly and often highly offensive; it is a criminal act.

“We would therefore urge anyone who witnesses it taking place to report it to the police.

“Graffiti removal is impacted by the sub-zero temperatures which can cause the machinery to fail and the residue also poses a hazard when it freezes over.

“This was the case with the graffiti reported at Marress Road. Our officers attended the site shortly after being alerted to the issue and removed what they could before experiencing issues with the machinery.

“We will be re-attending the site again to carry out the removal of the remaining graffiti.”

Irvine West SNP Cllr Shaun Macauley said: “This type of stuff has absolutely no place in modern Scotland and individuals that use football to spout their bile are not welcome.

“These individuals aren’t football fans, they are bigots. We have a real problem with sectarianism in the West of Scotland and action is needed to rid society of this type of bigotry.

“This ugly side shames us all.

“I know football fans from all sides and also the wider community will join me in condemning the actions of these mindless bigots.”