A memorial dedicated to three Scottish soldiers who were murdered by the IRA in a hate crime.

The monument in North Belfast to teenage brothers John and Joseph McCaig, and their colleague Dougald McCaughey, 23, had paint thrown over it in an incident shortly after 12.30pm.

It was erected to mark the spot at White Brae, Ligoniel, on the outskirts of the city, where the three off-duty fusiliers were shot dead by the IRA in 1971.

It has been vandalised close to 20 times since being built five years ago with the support of the Royal British Legion.

Police in North Belfast said they received a report of criminal damage and officers were treating it as a hate crime.

They appealed for anyone with information about the incident to contact Tennent Street station.


The latest attack saw a coffee jar of brown paint smashed over the face of the memorial stone.

Andy Allen, the Ulster Unionist Party's North Belfast spokesman, said the vandalism was "an absolute disgrace".

"Quite clearly there are those out there who have no respect or decency," he said.

"Three young Scottish soldiers were murdered and some people seem intent on inflicting further pain on their families. More needs to be done to bring those responsible for these cowardly and disgraceful attacks to justice."

Mr Allen said the memorial had been attacked 21 times.