Ireland Sinn Féin member reports hate crime after election posters placed on bonfire

13:20  11 july  2017
13:20  11 july  2017 Source:   thejournal.ie

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An injunction preventing more material being added to four bonfires has also been broken ahead of the lighting of these fires this evening.

Supt David Moore, a PSNI commander in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon, said: "We are investigating complaints about Sinn Féin election posters being placed on a bonfire in the local area. "This is being treated as a hate incident.

Updated 10am

  Sinn Féin member reports hate crime after election posters placed on bonfire © PA A SINN FÉIN candidate in the recent general election has reported a hate crime to police after posters from his election campaign were placed at the top of a bonfire due to be lit ahead of the Twelfth July parade season.

John Finucane, the son of murdered human rights lawyer Pat Finucane, failed to win a seat in the election. This morning he shared a photo from one bonfire site which showed several of his posters had been attached to pallets.

Posters from two other candidates have also been placed on the bonfire, as well as a flag for the Islamic State terrorist group.

Finucane said he has reported the incident to police.

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Sinn Féin is a left-wing Irish republican political party active in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The Sinn Féin organisation was founded in 1905 by Arthur Griffith.

Sinn Féin election posters have been removed from a bonfire in Limavady, County Londonderry, after police and the local council intervened. The posters of Brenda Chivers and Rory Donaghy were placed on a bonfire in Anderson Park, near Edenmore Road.

The bonfires have been the subject of recent controversy as Belfast City Council was forced to launch an investigation into why it was storing thousands of pallets for the event.

Up to 3,000 pallets were stolen from a council premises and it is believed loyalist paramilitaries were behind the theft as they feared the stored pallets would not be handed over.

The council has been forced to launch an investigation to look at why it was storing thousands of wooden pallets for these bonfires. © PA The council has been forced to launch an investigation to look at why it was storing thousands of wooden pallets for these bonfires. The council also secured a High Court injunction on Friday preventing any more material being added to four loyalist bonfires due to health and safety concerns.

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Supt David Moore, a PSNI commander in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon, said: "We are investigating complaints about Sinn Féin election posters being placed on a bonfire in the local area. "This is being treated as a hate incident.

Hate crime complaints have been filed over bonfires built in the North for the annual July 12th celebrations. Sinn Féin member John Finucane says he has contacted the PSNI, after his election posters were attached to one pile.

This order appears to have been broken ahead of the lighting of the bonfires, as images from yesterday afternoon show masked men adding wooden pallets to the stacks at one of these locations.

There are concerns about safety at some bonfire sites. © PA There are concerns about safety at some bonfire sites. Sinn Féin has been critical of these controversies, calling the storage of pallets a “disgraceful episode”. The party has also said all dangerous materials should be removed from the four sites covered by the injunction.

However unionists have hit out at Sinn Féin, accusing the party of waging a “cultural war”.

In a joint statement, the DUP and PUP said these parades and bonfires are about “celebrating a momentous victory and a key part of the narrative around our contribution to our national history”.

“In recent weeks there has been a clear strategy to rewrite this narrative and to discredit the celebrations surrounding it. Republicans wish to undo all positive progress, such as the growth of Orangefest and the successes of the bonfire programme.

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Sinn Féin condemned the incident in Carrickmore as a "sectarian hate crime ". Alliance Party member Stephen Donnelly - who is running against Ms Begley in the West Tyrone by- election along with Thomas Buchanan (DUP), Chris Smyth (UUP) and Daniel McCrossan (SDLP) - tweeted that the

Report : Hate crimes increase after election . Hirshman called the incident a hate crime . "We condemn this hateful act and urge all members of our community to join us in condemning such hateful acts," he said.

We must not let our unity of purpose be disrupted or harmed by the actions of those who want to devalue and demean us,” they said.

There is anger among unionists about interference with the bonfires this year. © PA There is anger among unionists about interference with the bonfires this year. “This attempt at cultural dictation must not be accepted. Instead, we must work together for a cultural renewal that includes input from the parading organisations, bands, community organisations and bonfire groups.”


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