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Dublin: 7 °C Tuesday 19 November, 2019
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Unionists demand removal of Sinn Féin posters from bonfires

Sinn Féin say that the burning of their posters is a “hate crime”.

THE ULSTER UNIONIST Party has called for “respect” after election posters of Sinn Féin and Alliance Party candidates were placed on loyalist bonfires.

Posters of Alliance Party MLA Anna Lo had appeared on bonfires in both Bangor and Carrickfergus, while Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson’s poster was also on the pyre in Bangor.

The inclusion of the posters on the fires just days before the 12 July celebrations sparked condemnation on all sides in the North.

Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt called on those responsible to remove the posters immediately and to “show respect for those of differing opinions”.

“It is perfectly possible to celebrate one’s cultural identity without having to resort to burning election posters or seeking to offend anyone else.

The bottom line is that you cannot ask to be shown respect if you yourself are not prepared to show respect to others.

Sinn Féin MLA David McKay said that the incident was a “hate crime”.

“We have heard in recent days unionist politicians and the Orange Order speaking of tolerance and respect.

Despite this election posters, Irish tricolours and other flags such as the Polish flag and effigies, including one of Fr Matt Wallace and Michael McIlveen have been burnt on bonfires.

“These are hate crimes against sections of our community and should be treated as such.”

Speaking to UTV, Lo herself called for respect.

“It’s mutual respect. I have no problem with people celebrating the Twelfth with bonfires and I know they want their culture to be respected and I think that’s the right thing to do, but really if they want people to respect their culture they need to respect other people’s culture and religion as well.”

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