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McCausland demands police chief ensures dissident 'recruitment' mural is removed

By Luke Barnes

Published 08/10/2016

Fury: the republican mural in Derry
Fury: the republican mural in Derry

A sinister dissident republican recruitment mural in Londonderry must be removed by police, a DUP MLA has said.

The mural on Westland Street refers to an 'unfinished revolution' and includes the slogan 'Join the IRA'.

DUP MLA Nelson McCausland has urged police to remove it immediately. It is believed the mural has been in place for a year and DUP MLA Gary Middleton made a complaint to police about it in September.

This week a similarly themed mural appeared on the side of the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Office in the city.

Mr McCausland said PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton and Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin have undertaken to speak to the police commander in Londonderry.

He raised the matter at a meeting of the Policing Board in Belfast on Thursday, questioning Mr Hamilton over whether it is a criminal offence "to invite or encourage another person to join a proscribed organisation via a social media post, mural, poster, flyer etc", and if so, what police are doing about it.

In a written response given to Mr McCausland the Chief Constable said such incidents can be dealt with under the Serious Crime Act or the Terrorism Act.

"On receipt of a complaint or such an incident being made known to police it will be assessed in accordance with its own individual circumstances," the answer read.

It went on to give examples on when such prosecutions have been followed, including an incident at a 2011 Easter Rising Commemoration in Derry City Cemetery, where Marion Price held a written speech while a masked man read it to the crowd.

"She was convicted of aiding and abetting addressing a meeting for the purpose of encouraging support for a proscribed organisation and sentenced to nine months imprisonment suspended for three years," the answer added.

Mr McCausland added: "The Chief Constable and ACC Stephen Martin have undertaken to speak to the local PSNI commander in Londonderry about the situation and I look forward to hearing from them."

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