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Sinn Fein condemns Narrow Water poppy wreath attack as ‘wrong’

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Sinn Fein condemns Narrow Water poppy wreath attack as ‘wrong’ thumbnailThe results of the appalling attack

AN ATTACK on a memorial at Narrow Water in Warrenpoint has been condemned.

The attack, which is being treated as a hate crime by the PSNI, has been described as "completely sickening".

The incident took place before 8.30am last Thursday (25 May) when the floral tributes placed at the memorial at the castle were damaged.

Poppy wreaths were removed from the fence where they had been placed and strewn across the ground, with many of them smashed and broken apart, while small tribute crosses were lifted from the ground and thrown across the footpath.

The memorial is to the 18 soldiers and a civilian killed in a roadside ambush in August 1979. The IRA ambushed the army with two large roadside bombs and it was the deadliest attack on the army during the Troubles.

Sinn Fein's Chris Hazzard MLA said the attack was "wrong".

"The desecration and vandalism of poppies and floral tributes at the memorial in Narrow Water is wrong and I condemn it." The Sinn Fein's Westminster candidate said everyone has the "right to remember the dead with dignity and respect, as enshrined in the Good Friday Agreement".

"There can be no place for vandalism attacks on monuments, memorials and other places where people remember their dead," he said.

UUP Councillor David Taylor said he was "disgusted" that the poppy wreaths had been "desecrated once again".

"These attacks never stop, it is just endless," he said. "The people who commit these crimes are full of hate.

"Given the events of last week when we saw terrorists bring death and destruction to the people of Manchester, it is appalling there are still people in Northern Ireland who have learnt nothing from our past and are so full of hatred that they want to destroy memorials to the victims of terrorism from Northern Ireland's Troubles."

Harold McKee said this incident only added to the pain of those who lost loved ones in the Troubles.

"This is a completely sickening attack and it only serves to compound the pain of the families of the service personnel who lost their lives at Narrow Water," he said.

"All right-thinking people should condemn this hate crime and I would appeal to anyone with information to report it to the PSNI immediately.

"The police need help to bring the criminals responsible before the courts," said the UUP's Westminster candidate for South Down.

Police are continuing to appeal for information.

Sergeant Allister Patterson said: "We are treating this incident as a hate crime and I am appealing to anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the vicinity recently, or anyone who may have information that could assist in our enquiries, to contact police in Newry on 101 quoting reference 264 of 25/05/17.

"Alternatively, information can be given anonymously through the independent charity, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

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