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Mary Lou: Burning Sinn Féin effigies is 'race hatred'

She condemned the violence that has taken place in recent days.

SINN FÉIN DEPUTY leader Mary Lou McDonald has condemned the burning of an effigy of MP Michelle Gildernew on a bonfire in Moygashel, Co Tyrone.

McDonald brought up the issue in the Dáil today, where she criticised the violent scenes that have played out in northern Ireland in recent days.

The below image appeared on the Facebook page of the Moygashel Sons of Ulster flute band, but has since been removed.

bonfire2-432x500 Source: Facebook

A sign under an effigy of Gildernew read: ‘Sinn Féin Scum, hands off our culture. Public hanging 10.30pm.’

McDonald described the burning of the effigy and election posters of other Sinn Féin politicians as “incidences of race hatred”.

14/7/2015 Sinn Fein Finance Deputy Leader Mary Lou Mary Lou McDonald Source: Sam Boal

She called on Unionist leaders to take use their power to prevent effigies from being burned in the future.

They cannot describe bonfires as part of their culture and not at the same time accept responsibility for the sectarian use to which many are put.

McDonald said it was important that hundreds of loyal order marches passed off peacefully, describing this as “by any standard, progress”.

The Taoiseach also condemned the violence that has taken place.

I deplore anything to do with these comments about race or members of your party having their effigies burned on bonfires. This is just not acceptable.

“I condemn those completely who through these mindless and thoughtless actions have exacerbated the situation in Ardoyne and in Woodvale and indeed jeopardised the lives of the community,” Enda Kenny said.

Kenny added that such acts have “no place in Northern Ireland that we all want to work for” and said he will bring up the issue when he next meets with the country’s executive.

Read: Teen girl injured after car ploughs into pedestrians in Ardoyne

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Órla Ryan

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