24/06/2019

Anger As 'Soldier F' Banner Appears In Belfast

Calls have been issued for the removal of a banner linked to 'Soldier F' that appeared on a busy road in Belfast over the weekend.

The banner featuring the Parachute Regiment emblem was put up on the Lisburn Road. It comes after the decision to prosecute a paratrooper for the murders of two people on Bloody Sunday.

Sinn Fein MLA Máirtín Ó Muilleoir urged the PSNI to ensure the sign is removed from the mixed area of south Belfast.

He said: "This banner has nothing to do with the cause of justice and everything to do with intimidation and the marking out territory. The community is in no doubt that certain loyalist paramilitaries have given their blessing and put their muscle behind the display of similar banners across the North. 

"These paramilitaries are already engaged in the intimidation of mixed communities across South Belfast, not least in 'shared' housing developments in Belfast.
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"The PSNI is enabling these paramilitaries by allowing these banners to be erected. 

"I have made clear to the PSNI senior commander in Belfast today that the PSNI should now enable the removal of this intimidating banner on the Lisburn Road."

Meanwhile, Alliance MLA for the area Paula Bradshaw said the banners should be removed immediately in line with the wishes of the local community.

She stated: "I endorse fully Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie's comments that such banners are designed to be antagonistic. People are entitled to make their case if they wish, but they must do so responsibly. Such banners have no business being there, nor do they assist any case.

"Where such banners are clearly erected to antagonise – and that is exactly how they are viewed by the local community – they should of course be removed immediately. We are long past time where a tiny minority gets to bully and antagonise the vast majority who are trying to get on with their lives in peace and harmony."



(JG/CM)

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