THERE HAS BEEN condemnation after a hanged figure depicting Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams was placed on a loyalist bonfire ahead of the 12th of July.
The figure on the bonfire on the outskirts of Antrim Town is wearing the colours of Celtic Football Club and is hanging from a gallows painted in the colours of the Irish tricolour.
A spokesperson from Adams’ office said that his solicitor has been in touch with the PSNI, who are investigating the incident as a hate crime.
The image has been described by Adams as “deeply offensive and a clear hate crime by those responsible”.
The Orange Order claims that bonfires are an important part of protestant culture and should be welcoming to families. What happens at Orange events is clearly the responsibility of the Orange Order. The figure of a lynch victim on a bonfire is not a welcoming sight for anyone.
There was controversy earlier this week when elections posters of Sinn Féin and Alliance Party candidates appeared on bonfires. The posters of Alliance Party MLA Anna Lo appeared on bonfires in Bangor and Carrickfergus. The poster of Martina Anderson appeared on the bonfire in Bangor.
Speaking about the incident this evening, PSNI press officer Lorraine McLearnon said:
Police are aware of numerous items, some of which can only be described as distasteful, that have been placed on bonfires in a number of parts of Northern Ireland. Police are liaising with local community representatives in relation to these incidents.