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Dublin: 5 °C Wednesday 27 March, 2019

Bonfire in Northern Ireland featuring names of murdered police officers condemned

The bonfire was set alight on Wednesday night.

POLITICAL LEADERS HAVE have condemned a bonfire in the Bogside area of Derry City on Wednesday night which displayed the names of several murdered policemen.

The police service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) says that it is treating the incident as a hate crime.

Political leaders this afternoon have condemned the act.

A vile incident

Describing the incident as “vile”, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said: “This is the work of people determined to maintain a divided Ireland. It is condemned by all of us who want a united Ireland.”

Tánaiste Simon Coveney, who paid tribute to murdered policemen David Black, Stephen Carroll, Adrian Ismay and Ronan Kerr, said: “Those who murdered them or disrespect their memory will not succeed in undermining those values.”

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said: “This nonsense doesn’t represent the views of the people of Derry. It’s sectarian and anti social. Nothing more.”

Bonfires are traditional on August 15 in Northern Ireland, marking the Catholic Feast of the Assumption.

Chief Inspector Paul McCracken said: “We are treating this as a hate crime and we are seeking to identify those responsible.”

Poppy wreaths were also placed on Wednesday night’s bonfire.

The PSNI are appealing to members of the public to contact them in relation to the incident.

“We take hate crime very seriously and actively investigate all incidents reported to us. Hate crime is wrong on all levels and the PSNI will do everything it can to ensure that everyone, from whatever background, can live free from prejudice, fear and discrimination.

In a separate incident last night, three petrol bombs were thrown at police in the area of Derry’s Walls.

A 35-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of making, possessing and throwing a petrol bomb. He remains in police custody.

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