Belfast Telegraph

Anger at 'grotesque' swastika on poppy Belfast window display - police enquiries ongoing

Gareth Cross

By Gareth Cross

A Belfast DUP councillor has spoken of his anger at a Christmas window display erected at the headquarters of dissident republican group Saoradh.

The window at their Antrim Road office depicts a a PSNI officer in a Grinch costume admonishing a child and a Santa with a rocket launcher.

It also features a swastika symbol emblazoned on the poppy and the slogan "Hey peelers! Leave our kids alone!".

The office also acts as the headquarters for the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association.

A similar mural was also painted on the window of Saoradh's national headquarters in Londonderry.

Police said they were "aware and enquiries are ongoing to determine if any offences have been committed".

DUP councillor Dale Pankhurst noticed the display on Tuesday and branded it "utterly grotesque" saying it was "promoting fascism".

"This is on the Antrim Road, a main thoroughfare into Belfast city centre. On the door is a copy of a photograph taken prior to republican terrorists launching a rocket attack on police on the Crumlin Road. It is edited to incorporate a Santa costume, thereby mixing a potent and vile message with Christmas," he said.

"By placing a fascist symbol on the Poppy is not only deeply offensive but totally ironic given who the IRA cooperated with during WW2.‬ They are pathetic cowards. Lowest of the low."

"Given the recent news story regarding Catholics feeling alienated from joining the police, I would call upon Nationalist leaders, particularly Sinn Fein, to come out and call for the removal of this display."

Councillor Pankhurst said he would be engaging with the PSNI about the window in the coming days. The police have been approached for comment.

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