09/08/2019

Widespread Disgust At Newry Bonfire

An anti-internment bonfire in Newry has been met with widespread condemnation as signs mocking security force personnel who were killed by paramilitaries were displayed on the pyre.

Murdered prison officer David Black, who was shot dead as he drove on the M1 in 2012, was referenced on the bonfire along with late victims' campaigner Willie Frazer and 18 soldiers killed at the Narrow Water massacre in 1979.

Police are understood to be treating the provocative signs placed on the bonfire in the Carnagat area of the town as a "hate incident".

Sinn Fein MP Mickey Brady called for the eradication of "such actions and hate crimes".

The Newry and Armagh MP said: "Sinn Fein condemn the burning of flags, emblems, effigies and posters on bonfires.
News Image
"The vast majority of the community is opposed to bonfire and associated display of hate and anti social behaviour. This bonfire has nothing whatsoever to do with the legacy of internment. It does not celebrate any aspect of Irish national identity or culture. 

"This Bonfire is not Republican, it is not about politics or culture. It is about hate and is anti-community and anti-social.

"It also has brought further pain and suffering to bereaved families."

David Black's son, who became a DUP councillor earlier this year, expressed his disgust at seeing his dad's name on the pyre.

Kyle Black tweeted: "I will never understand the mentality of those who seek to cause further hurt by placing the names of our loved ones on a bonfire."

Meanwhile, DUP Leader Arlene Foster condemned those behind the act and expressed solidarity with the loved ones of those mentioned.

She wrote on Thursday evening: "This is really sick. My heart goes out to the families who are impacted by this tower of hate.

"Those who built it evidently have a lot of bitterness and hatred in their hearts. It stands in contrast to the dignity and grace of the innocent victims who today sit with empty chairs."



(JG/CM)


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

28 February 2020
Justice Minister Encourages Reports Of Online Hate Crime
Justice Minister Naomi Long is urging victims of online hate crimes to file a report to police to allow them to get the support they need. Ms Long encouraged members of the public to "call it out" and help police catch online perpetrators at an Online Hate Crime Event at Belfast City Hall.
09 March 2020
Man Assaulted In Racially Motivated Hate Crime
A man has sustained bruising after he was assaulted by a gang of masked men armed with baseball bats during an aggravated burglary in east Belfast. Police are treating the incident in the Knock Grove area on Sunday 08 March as a racially motivated hate crime. A woman and small child escaped uninjured but have been left badly shaken.
17 February 2020
Church Attack A Sectarian Hate Crime- PSNI
Criminal damage caused to a Catholic Church in Larne, Co Antrim is being investigated as a sectarian hate crime, police have confirmed. The place of worship in the Agnew Street area of the town was targeted at around 11am on Sunday morning, 16 February. It's understood a paint ball was thrown at the wall of the church.
13 February 2020
Online Hate Crime To Be Debated At City Hall
Leading professionals are to address the issue of online hate crime at a conference at Belfast City Hall this month. Representatives from the PSNI and the Belfast Policing & Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) will engage in an interactive question and answering session at the No Place for Hate conference.
20 July 2012
Lyttle Condemns Bonfire Burnings Of All National And Cultural Symbols
Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle has condemned the burning of all flags, electoral posters and sectarian signage on bonfires. The East Belfast MLA is calling for a robust Executive Shared Future strategy to be put in place to ensure no one in Northern Ireland suffers from ethnic, cultural or sectarian intimidation.