And it gave at least one train rider a Monday morning jolt that had nothing to do with freezing mid-winter weather or strong coffee.
The anti-Catholic message, “Taigs Out. UVF”, was written in marker on a pillar at Pleasantville train station, a northern Westchester stop on Metro North’s Harlem Line.
“I have no idea who could do such a thing,” said the commuter, who wished to remain anonymous. “It’s scary to think that there could be a genuine nut around here thinking in these terms.”
The commuter is Irish-American and knew immediately that “Taigs” was a pejorative term for Catholics used in Northern Ireland and the letters “UVF” stood for the loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force.
The UVF is currently embroiled in a growing turf feud with the rival LVF, or Loyalist Volunteer Force, in areas of Belfast disputed by both paramilitary groups.
The graffiti was scrawled on a pillar at the foot of steps leading to the train platform from the street.
“It stood out because Pleasantville is a very clean station,” the commuter said.
The commuter said that the slogan had not been on the pillar when he ended his work week last Friday so it had been written with blue marker at some point over the weekend.
“It’s distressing and a shame to think that someone would feel the need to do this,” the commuter said.
When contacted by the Echo, Metro North spokeswoman Marjorie Anders expressed surprise at the graffiti, and shock over its hateful meaning.
Within an hour of being notified of the slogan, Anders called the Echo to say that a Metro North station cleaning team had erased the callous message with special graffiti remover.