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Anger after Glengormley war memorial attacked again

There is anger within the local community after Glengormley war memorial was attacked for the second time in as many months.

The memorial, located in the Lilian Bland Park on the Ballycare Road, has been repeatedly targeted. A railing was installed around it in 2014 to help prevent further attacks.

It is understood the vandalism occurred on Thursday night, with poppy wreaths burned and scorch damage caused to the memorial itself.

Police attended the scene on Friday morning and are treating the vandalism as a hate crime. A PSNI spokesperson said enquiries were continuing.

Local DUP councillor Phillip Brett said he believed a petrol bomb may have been used in the attack.

He described the incident as "absolutely disgraceful" and described the continued attacks as a "sustained campaign of hate".

Mr Brett said the memorial was located in a shared space and he could not understand the motivation for the attacks.

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The attack on the Glengormley war memorial.

The attack on the Glengormley war memorial.

The attack on the Glengormley war memorial.

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"This needs to end," he said.

DUP South Antrim MLA Pam Cameron said it was "disgusting to see yet another hate crime attack has occurred on this memorial".

Sinn Fein MLA Declan Kearney said the "disgraceful attack" was "shameful and wrong".

"It should be treated as a sectarian hate crime. The British identity, unionist tradition and orange culture must be respected now and in the future," the South Antrim MLA said.

Deputy Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Noreen McClelland said the incident was not reflective of the community.

She said that anti-social behaviour in the park may have contributed to the ongoing issues around the memorial.

"I'm really saddened and annoyed by this incident," the SDLP councillor said.

"We're trying constantly to build community relations and a memorial like that should not be touched at any stage. It should be respected by everybody."

Mrs McClelland called for attacks on the memorial to stop

“These hateful attacks have greatly angered and upset the local community in Glengormley. Those committing them have no support and should desist," she said.

“Glengormley war memorial is a place where people who wish to can reflect and pay respect to those who lost their lives during the First and Second World Wars. It is an important area in our shared community.

“I urge those with any information as to who is committing these attacks to contact the PSNI.”

UUP councillor Mark Cosgrove said he "simply cannot fathom the mindset of hate and ignorance that could lead anyone to sneak around in the dead of night with a petrol bomb and seek to desecrate a memorial".

"The fact that some deluded idiots use that hard won freedom to attack a war memorial is profoundly depressing," he said.

“Glengormley has a richly diverse community that is made up of people from many backgrounds, and who will all rightly utterly reject this disgusting attack on the very ethos of this nation. I urge anyone who has any information on this hate crime to pass that information to the police immediately.

“The perpetrators are trying to create divisions and tensions in the community, which they can then exploit further, because that is all they have to offer. They must never be allowed to win, and I will work with every fibre of my being alongside the wider Glengormley community, to ensure that they do not succeed in spreading their poison.”

Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to ring 101 and quote reference 497 of April 2nd. A report can also be made using the online reporting form via www.psni.police.uk/makeareport

Alternatively, information can be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org


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