Loyalists mount Belfast ‘culture war’


An advertising hoarding for Irish language channel TG4 has been defaced with sectarian death threats in north Belfast.

The billboard which advertises TG4’s latest marketing campaign Súil Eile promotes Cúla4, an Irish language television channel for Irish speaking children.

The poster on the Crumlin Road was scrawled over with a sectarian writing, “Kill all taigs” and UVF and UDA.

North Belfast Sinn Féin Councillor Ryan Murphy condemned the attack.

“The disgraceful destruction of the TG4 Súil Eile billboard is an attack on freedom of speech,” he said. “There is absolutely no room for this kind of sectarianism and hatred in our local communities.

“This is a very diverse part of North Belfast with people from all different backgrounds living around here.

“I would encourage those behind this mindless attack to take onboard that Súil Eile approach and look at things from another view.”

A similar billboard was also set alight in East Belfast last week.

A spokesperson from TG4 said: “TG4 frequently advertises in Northern Ireland as part of its marketing campaigns. This is the first time we are aware of advertising being defaced.

“It is disappointing as the adverts are promoting children’s programming.”


Meanwhile, the daughter-in-law of a woman killed by a notorious loyalist paramilitary said she was “gutted” by a new mural erected in his memory.

Joe Coggle was jailed when 61-year-old Elizabeth (Elish) Masterson, from west Belfast, was run over and killed in 1986.

Coggle, the son of former Belfast unionist councillor Joe Coggle Sr, was sentenced to only 18 months for causing Ms Masterson’s death, having received a reference from North Belfast unionist MP Cecil Walker.

The mural, on the Shankill Road in west Belfast, also depicts UVF member Paul McClelland. A British Legion poppy wreath was included when it was painted.

The pair depicted in the mural are believed to have been the gunmen behind the murder of David Braniff in 1989. Mr Braniff, a father-of-13 who had been raised as a Protestant but converted to Catholicism, was brutally murdered in his home as he was saying the rosary with his wife.

Elish Masterson’s daughter-in-law Ann, who was with her grandmother when she was fatally injured, described the mural as “really hurtful”.

“Why put that memorial up? My kids are fuming. We were not given justice,” she said.

She still believes the killing by Coggle was covered up because of “who his da was. He was a DUP councillor in the city hall.”

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