A major supermarket chain has reportedly withdrawn the sale of offensive Crown Force merchandise following a protest by a lone nationalist woman in Lurgan, County Armagh.
The retailer in the predominately nationalist town was condemned after it emerged items in support of the Ulster Defence Regiment and RUC police were on sale at a British Legion stand.
Both are now disbanded but are held responsible for the murders of hundreds of innocent civilians throughout the conflict. Items promoting the SAS (Special Armed Services), involved in several high-profile shoot-to-kill assassinations, were also on sale.
A video of the protest, which is understood to have occurred at the Lurgan store on Tuesday, has been widely shared on social media.
It shows items with RUC and SAS insignias being sold alongside poppies, sold annually as part of a campaign to support former British soldiers.
The woman filming the incident is heard saying: “The British Army and RUC murdered a lot of innocent people and you are selling for them – this is for murderers of innocent people, this is not acceptable selling these.
“I am not accepting this – a donation for a poppy that is no problem but selling badges for the RUC and British Army, I am not accepting it.”
According to a post on social media, the British Legion admitted that there had been “fallout” from the protest which required the removal of non-British Legion merchandise.
“In order to keep our partnership with Tesco we must withdraw non-RBL pins and products from the stands/stalls in all of the main supermarkets,” it said.
“These items should only be offered in RBL clubs and Poppy shops.”
The woman selling the poppies, Roberta McNally, a former member of the British Army, caused controversy in April 2015 when she described Catholics as “taigs” on social media. In another post, she referred to Sinn Féin election candidate Cat Seeley as “that tramp Seeley”.