Anger at desecration of IRA memorial

A memorial to IRA hunger strikers in Newry has been vandalised by loyalists.

The site was discovered daubed in paint and graffiti yesterday morning.

Newry Sinn Féin councillor Charlie Casey said the memorial had been there for a number of years.

“It had been erected by local republicans in memory of the hunger strikers and was located on waste ground,” he said.

“But it now has UVF painted over it in two places and the 10 crosses have been painted red, white and blue.”

Sinn Féin assembly member Mickey Brady last night spoke of his “deep disappointment” at the act.

He said he hoped that the memorial would be restored to its original state soon.

“To see such an appalling act happen to this memorial is beyond condemnation,” Mr Brady said.

“The cowards that did this realise that the 10 H-block hunger strikers hold such admiration and respect among republicans because of the sacrifice that they made and the circumstances in which they gave their lives.

“They also realise just how offensive desecrating this memorial is to the republican community.”

FLAGS

The PSNI tore down Irish tricolours set up for an internment commemoration in Banbridge, County Down after loyalists said they would remove them if the PSNI didn’t act.

The incident occurred last week after several flags were erected to coincide with the anniversary of the introduction of internment without trial.

The PSNI said they removed the flags on Friday in order to prevent a breach of the peace.

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© 2008 Irish Republican News