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Police in Northern Ireland investigating hate crime after paint thrown over Somme mural

It is believed the incident happened overnight.

POLICE IN NORTHERN Ireland are investigating after paint was thrown over a Somme commemoration mural in Lurgan, Co Armagh. 

Police received a report of vandalism at Avenue Road at 11.20 am this morning. It is believed the incident happened overnight. 

Chief Inspector O’Connor, who has appealed to anyone with information to come forward, said that police were treating the incident as “a hate crime”. 

Mural. Somme memorial mural on Avenue Road, Lurgan Source: Avenue Road Somme Society/Facebook.com

The Somme in France was the site of the largest battle of the First World War which took place from July to November 1916. It is estimated that over 1.6 million soldiers lost their lives during the offensive. 

In a statement today, Avenue Road Somme Society said that “once again the ignorant and uneducated fools have attacked a memorial to our brave.”

“This mural is historical and educational and great words spoken by both sides of the community is something that we hold highly.”

Local Upper Bann MLA Carla Lockhart has said the incident was intended to heighten tensions ahead of the upcoming marching season and has appealed for “calm heads” and for people ”not to get drawn into a tit for tat campaign.”

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