Belfast Telegraph

Burning of poppy wreaths on bonfire vile act, says DUP

By Leona O'Neill

There was outrage last night after two poppy wreaths were burnt on a controversial bonfire in Derry.

The wreaths, which had been stolen from the War Memorial in the city's Diamond, were placed on the Bogside pyre along with Union, UDA, Parachute Regiment and Somme commemoration flags.

DUP councillor Graham Warke, who reported the burning of the wreaths to the PSNI, said it was "a vile act".

"It is a total disgrace," he added.

"It's such a shame to see this happening.

"These have been stolen from the War Memorial in the centre of Londonderry, a memorial which commemorates the dead from both sides of the community.

"I would expect that all right-minded people from all sections of the community will be utterly offended by this sight and condemn this vile act."

Up to 800 people gathered at the bonfire on the embankment overlooking the Bogside last night to watch the pyre being set alight.

Agreement had been reached just days before on the location of the bonfire after talks between young people and community activists.

It had been constructed and ignited in the middle of Lecky Road last year after the bonfire-builders had their original material seized.

Bonfires are traditionally lit on August 15 in nationalist areas of Derry to mark the Feast of the Assumption, a Catholic holy day celebrating the Virgin Mary's ascension into Heaven.

Belfast Telegraph

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