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Dublin: 6 °C Saturday 22 February, 2020

Effigy of Sinn Féin politician burned on bonfire

The bonfire had a sign which read: ‘Sinn Féin Scum, hands off our culture. Public hanging 10.30pm’.

THERE HAS BEEN outrage after an effigy of former Sinn Féin MP Michelle Gildernew was spotted tied to a bonfire in Moygashel, Co Tyrone.

A sign on the bonfire read: ‘Sinn Féin Scum, hands off our culture. Public hanging 10.30pm’.

The image appeared on the Facebook page of the Moygashel Sons of Ulster flute band, which paraded to the spot of the bonfire on Saturday.

Source: Moygashel Sons of Ulster Flute Band via Facebook

There was a backlash online, with people saying they were “horrified” and “disgusted” to see the effigy of Gildernew.

The Sinn Féin activist has thanked people for their support:

In a statement, she branded it a hate crime and said incidents like this should be rigorously investigated by the PSNI.

With that kind of leadership is it any wonder that these Neanderthals think this type of insult is part of their culture.

The Orange Order also claims that bonfires are an important part of protestant culture and should be welcoming to families. How can these displays of naked sectarianism be welcoming to anyone?

She added that if the Orange Order were sincere about wanting nationalists to respect their culture, then they need to “come out unambiguously in their condemnation of these hate crimes by assisting the PSNI in identifying those responsible”.

The bonfire was one of many lit across the country for the Eleventh Night, a yearly loyalists event in neighbourhoods.

Twelfth of July celebrations - Belfast People stand near a bonfire in the Shankill area of Belfast. Source: Niall Carson/PA

The fire service was called to assist at 29 fires in total, UTV reports, with safety fears in a small number of areas because of their proximity to nearby houses. No injuries or damage to property was reported.

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