Belfast Telegraph

Morrissey's Thatcher death song and Queen's rude gesture image in Belfast spark condemnation

By Rebecca Black

Morrissey has sparked outrage after celebrating the death of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher live on a Belfast stage.

The rock legend opened his gig at the Odyssey Arena on Tuesday night by playing the song The Queen Is Dead, while showing images of Mrs Thatcher.

Images of the Queen, photoshopped to appear as if she was giving obscene hand gestures, were also displayed.

Irwin Armstrong, who is a member of the Northern Ireland branch of the Conservative Party, branded what happened at the Morrissey concert as "absolutely disgusting".

"That Morrissey has to promote himself by using someone who died, just because he didn't agree with what she did when she was alive, is appalling," he said. "As far as I am concerned, when she was alive she was the best Prime Minister the country has had since Churchill."

Mr Armstrong said being a rock star does not remove someone from the "norms of society".

"Going around mocking someone who hasn't been in power for a very long time and who is now dead, I think it is absolutely disgusting," he added.

"It is bad enough to do that to people who are alive, but to do it to people who are dead, it is just beyond the pale."

The Morrissey gig was far from sold out, although Belfast Telegraph attempts to contact the promoter to establish how many tickets were unsold went unanswered. It was reported that the Odyssey arena was only three quarters full on Tuesday, even after capacity was cut to around half by the positioning of the stage.

Mrs Thatcher died two years ago at the age of 87 years, following an illness. She resigned as Conservative Prime Minister in 1990 after serving for 11 years in the top job.

The 55-year-old English rocker had already sparked controversy before his arrival in Belfast, when he demanded that no meat products of any type be sold at the Odyssey.

Morrissey is a committed vegetarian and is known for holding strong views on animal rights.

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