Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Alliance's Anna Lo 'disgusted' by loyalist bonfire posters

Insults: The election posters

An Assembly member has spoken of her disgust after her election poster was stuck on two loyalist bonfires.

Posters of Alliance MLA Anna Lo and Sinn Fein's Martina Anderson have been placed on a bonfire in Bangor's Bloomfield estate.

Ms Lo's poster was also placed on a bonfire in Carrickfergus.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph last night, Ms Lo said she was "disappointed".

"A few of my posters were ripped down during the election. I suspected that they were going to be used on a bonfire so I am not shocked. I am however deeply personally offended," she said.

"Bonfires are one thing and I think it's great for people to celebrate their culture but when pictures of the Pope and politicians start being put on there it's another story. It's really out of order and completely disrespectful.

"I have to wonder why me? Is it because of my stance on racism or is it because of my long-term aspirations for a united Ireland?"

Ms Lo said the police needed to take action and remove the images.

Ms Lo has been targeted by elements within hardline loyalism after she declared her preference for a united Ireland in an interview before the European election, where she got 44,000 votes.

Earlier this year she revealed she would quit Northern Ireland politics in 2016 due to racist abuse directed at her by loyalists.

Sinn Fein MLA Daithi McKay said: "These are hate crimes against sections of our community and should be treated as such. We need to see strong voices and leadership from political unionism in order to see that these despicable practices are stopped."

The incidents sparked outrage on Twitter. Connor McKinney wrote: "It's sad these scenes are becoming the norm."

And Tom Molloy asked: "how is it cultural to burn pictures of Anna Lo and Martina Anderson?"

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