Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Loyalist banner on internment pyre in Belfast

A loyalist painting stolen from a wall in south Belfast is believed the painting is currently on a bonfire in the nearby nationalist Divis area
A loyalist painting stolen from a wall in south Belfast is believed the painting is currently on a bonfire in the nearby nationalist Divis area

The artist who created a loyalist banner which ended up on a republican bonfire says she feels intimidated and upset.

Student Chyanne Holmes made the banner five years ago as part of a community project in the Sandy Row area of south Belfast.

The PSNI confirmed yesterday that it had been stolen from Linfield Road at around 11.45pm last Wednesday.

It was placed on an anti-internment bonfire due to be lit at midnight last night in the Divis area.

The 21-year-old told the Belfast Telegraph: "I've never felt this in my entire life, even with living in Sandy Row, but I feel very intimidated.

"I'm highly upset because it was a community project that was taken. I wouldn't have been upset if it was paramilitary or political.

"Not even just for myself but for the community, they all said they were upset that this was taken and the stolen banner is on top of a bonfire and we can't do anything about it," said Chyanne. It is believed the banner was later removed from the bonfire.

There was also condemnation yesterday after Irish News reporter Allison Morris was attacked by bottle-throwing youths at Divis. The Belfast journalist took to Twitter to say: "Just got attacked with bottles by a bunch of drunken rabble at the Divis bonfire site, tourists looking on shocked nice welcome to west Bel".

Sinn Fein MP for West Belfast Paul Maskey condemned the attack which he described as "disgusting and disgraceful".

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