Belfast Telegraph

Anger at dissident republican window mural in Derry

The controversial Christmas painting in the window of the offices in Londonderry of dissident republican group Saoradh
The controversial Christmas painting in the window of the offices in Londonderry of dissident republican group Saoradh
Leona O'Neill

By Leona O'Neill

A Christmas mural painted in the window of a dissident republican headquarters in Londonderry has caused outrage.

The mural at dissident republican party Saoradh's national headquarters, Junior McDaid House in the city's Chamberlain Street, shows The Grinch dressed in a PSNI uniform, with a Nazi symbol on the shoulder, using a battering ram to get into a house.

The painting appeared yesterday in the building, which also houses the Irish Republican Prisoners' Welfare Association and the youth group Eistigi Doire.

Saoradh wrote on its social media platforms: "This week Saoradh activists painted a Christmas mural on the window of our National Office.

"The Christmas themed mural displays 'The Grinch' dressed in the uniform of British Crown Forces while dismantling a door with a battering ram, something Republicans know only too well."

The DUP's Gregory Campbell called the display "offensive and ironic", adding: "The Nazi symbol and attempt to portray the police as the aggressors, most people will see as completely ironic given that dissident republicans in the last few years have been pursued by the community because of their activities - whether that is real devices, hoax devices, all sorts of activities - that the police have had to respond to at the request of the community. It's obviously an attempt by them to use a perverse sense of humour to try to get a message across.

"I think people will find the use of the swastika offensive. Anybody who portrays a Nazi symbol for either a person or group are making a very clear and obnoxious connotation because the Nazis were responsible for killing millions of Jews. Many people will find this extremely distasteful and offensive."

Last year Saoradh removed an image of a snowman armed with a rocket launcher from the window of their Bogside headquarters.

Police investigated the display at the time and two men, Patrick Joseph Barr of Sackville Court and William McDonnell of Harvey Street, were charged over the matter, but the charges were later dismissed.

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