Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

‘Mindless idiots’ behind new racial slur flyers in Comber

IMG_2261.JPG

Ards councillor Simon Hamilton has described the people responsible for putting up racist flyers across Comber as “mindless idiots”.

The flyers included phrases such as “Save our land — Join the klan” and have been stuck on lampposts and buildings across the town including the outside of local schools.

A second flyer, which The CT was unable to find, is believed to show an obscene hand gesture, with an anti-Islam comment below it.

A third flyer was so gratuitously offensive that we are unable to reveal what it says or print a picture of it.

It is the second time in a number of years that Comber has had flyers of this nature placed around the town.

However, Mr Hamilton said that unlike the flyers before — which he said were politically motivated with images of the Somme and swastikas — these latest flyers had “no political purpose” and were on a “different level”.

“Nearly two years after Comber was the victim of a similar outbreak of racist stickers (flyers), it seems that there are still mindless idiots out there prepared to strike again in an attempt to poison the minds of those who don't share their demented ideology,” said Mr Hamilton, whose advice centre on Bridge Street Link was targeted by those behind the material.

“The minority behind these inflammatory stickers will be roundly condemned by the community in Comber and far beyond.

“I am particularly perturbed that they should have targeted lampposts outside Comber Primary School and Nendrum College in a clear attempt to corrupt our young people.

“I am in no doubt that my advice centre has been hit because of my stout condemnation of the last wave of racist stickers.

“I can assure those behind these blatantly racist acts that I will not be silenced and will always stand up against thuggery of this kind where I see it.”

Mr Hamilton said the recent episode “runs completely contrary to some outstanding good work by the likes of the PSNI and local churches aimed at integrating the indigenous community with newcomers”.

“Obviously those responsible for these stickers are oblivious to the fact that the health service locally and many companies depend on migrant workers to survive,” Mr Hamilton continued.

“The community in Comber must come together to ensure that these mindless idiots do not succeed. I am sure 99 percent of people in Comber and beyond would be appaled by what has been put up in our town.”

Councillor Mervyn Oswald, who is chairman of Ards District Policing Partnership and works from Mr Hamilton’s Comber advice centre office, said he had spoken directly to PSNI Chief Inspector Philip Knox from Newtownards PSNI Station about the incident.

“Chief Inspector Knox is aware of the stickers and immediately sent officers down to the (advice centre) office to see for themselves the type information that feature on them,” Mr Oswald said.

He also said that he and a number of his colleagues had been out in Comber trying to take most of the offending material down.

A spokeswoman for the PSNI confirmed that they had been contacted about the racist flyers and that they would be “looking into the matter”.

Meanwhile, the Principal of Comber Primary School, Mr Don Halliday, said he had not seen the flyers outside his school but would be “horrified” if he had.

“I haven’t seen these flyers so I can’t really comment,” he said.

“However what I can say is that our children are educated to respect all people and to have a moral upbringing,” he said.

The Principal of Nendrum College was unavailable for comment as The CT went to press.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz