Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein's John Finucane reports election posters on bonfire to PSNI

By Claire Williamson

Sinn Fein's John Finucane has made a report to the police after his election campaign posters appeared on a bonfire in Belfast.

Mr Finucane, who ran unsuccessfully in the General Election, has called on the Orange Order to address the burning of flags and election posters on Eleventh night bonfires.

It comes after his posters appeared on a bonfire in the Conway Street area.

Mr Finucane said: “The burning of tricolours, effigies and posters of both Sinn Fein candidates and those from other parties is wrong.

"The Orange Order claims that bonfires are an important part of protestant culture and should be welcoming to families.

“It sends the totally wrong message to young people and families attending bonfires that it is OK to witness the images of others being burnt on pyres.

"These are hate crimes and are being treated as such by the PSNI.

"The Orange Order have been silent in previous years on the hate crimes that have taken place at these eleventh night bonfires. They have issued statements calling for no tyres to be burnt but nothing for flags, posters or effigies

“There is time yet before these bonfires are completed for the Orange Order to take a proactive and positive step towards stating clearly that the burning of flags, effigies and election posters is wrong and should not be part of the twelfth celebrations.”

In response the Orange Order reiterated it does not organise or have responsibility for bonfires but urged those involved to "act responsibly".

An Orange Order spokesman said: “We recognise that for many local communities, bonfires are an important part of pre-Twelfth celebrations.

“We would encourage those involved in the organisation of bonfires to act responsibly.”

Mr Finucane's solicitor father Pat was murdered by loyalist paramilitaries in one of the most infamous cases of the Troubles.

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