Irish Republican News · July 16, 2005
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Loyalists’ suicide jibe provokes anger

Unionists erected a slogan on a bonfire in Belfast earlier this week mocking nationalists who have taken their own lives.

The slogan reading “Up the Ardoyne bungee jumpers” was erected on a loyalist bonfire ahead of the annual Twelfth of July celebrations.

It was a reference to the high incidence of suicide among young men in the nationalist Ardoyne area.

The bonfire was part-funded by the unionist-controlled Belfast City Council. Nationalists have now called on the council to withdraw funding from any future bonfires.

Loyalist bonfires are usually draped with Irish tricolours, Sinn Féin election posters and anti-papal slogans.

Phil McTaggart of the Public Initiative to Prevent Suicide in Ardoyne said the slogan at Monday night’s bonfire was deeply insulting, while Margaret Wylie of the Shankill Mothers Hope group said Protestants were just as offended as Catholics.

Local priest Fr Aidan Troy also said the banner had remained on top of the bonfire for three days after he complained to the police.

Loyalist bonfires are traditionally draped with Irish tricolours, Sinn Féin election posters and anti-papal slogans.

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© 2005 Irish Republican News