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'Willie Frazer have you found your daddy yet?' - Condemnation of bonfire taunting Troubles victim

Frazer said he was disgusted for his wider family.

Belfast refugee demonstrations Loyalist campaigner Willie Frazer. Source: Niall Carson/PA Images

THERE HAS BEEN condemnation from across the political spectrum of poster placed on a Newry bonfire taunting Willie Frazer about the killing of his father.

Police are treating it as a “hate incident” and said they investing whether a crime has been committed.

It’s reported that the bonfire was built to mark the anniversary of the introduction of internment without trial.

Pictures of the bonfire have shown that it featured a placard with the words: “Willie Frazer have you found your daddy yet?”.

Frazer’s father was a part-time soldier in the British Army’s Ulster Defence Regiment when he was shot dead by the IRA in 1976.

Frazer has campaigned for the remembrance of victims of IRA violence and as a loyalist activist he has been a controversial figure, prevously attempting to organise Love Ulster parades in Dublin city.

Speaking to BBC’s Good Morning Ulster today, Frazer said that it was upsetting for his family to see the bonfire.

I was disgusted, not only for myself but for the family circle. There’s a very big family and a lot of children and great grandchildren and for them to see this. People tell us to move on but there are children and great grandchildren asking what is this all about. When is this going to stop, this intimidation?

Frazer said he believes he was targeted because he is “hated” by some people in the area for highlighting examples of IRA violence, like the Kingsmill massacre.

Local Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard tweeted yesterday that those who made the bonfire were not republicans.

“If you think this type of behaviour makes you a republican you’re a fool, a hate crime pure and simple and should be roundly condemned,” Hazzard said in a tweet that was retweeted by party leader Mary Lou McDonald.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney tweeted that the bonfire was: “Disgusting and should be loudly condemned!”.

In a statement, the PSNI said it had received reports that offensive material was placed on the bonfire.

“As a police service we recognise the hurt and frustration that this has caused, to many in the community. The display of this material has been perceived as offensive and distasteful,” the statement continued.

“Police are treating this as a hate incident and should evidence come to light that a crime has been committed and suspects identified they will be brought before the courts . This incident has been widely condemned by all representatives of the community in the Newry area.”

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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