Belfast Telegraph

Burning of Sinn Fein election poster a 'hate crime' - PSNI

An image taken from the Twitter account of Cllr Ciaran Beattie of the poster on fire (PA)
An image taken from the Twitter account of Cllr Ciaran Beattie of the poster on fire (PA)

Police have said they are treating the burning of a Sinn Fein election poster as a hate crime.

On Tuesday night, a poster belonging to the party's Lisburn North candidate Joe Duffy was set alight in the McKinstry Road area of the town.

Posting on social media, PSNI Lisburn said they received a report the burning was carried out by youths.

"Police searched the area however no suspects were located. Police are treating this as a hate crime," they added.

"This road is very busy generally and there was a lot of traffic moving around this time. If you have any information regarding this incident or witnessed anyone in the area causing damage to any posters or signs, please contact police on 101 quoting serial 1254 of 16/04/2019."

Speaking following the incident, Joe Duffy condemned it as a "blatant attack on the democratic process".

“I will continue to work on behalf of everyone in North Lisburn and promote our message of equality, rights and Irish unity," he said.

“Sinn Fein will not be silenced by these attacks which will only increase our determination to bring our progressive politics to voters in this council area.”

In recent weeks there have been numerous cases of election posters being stolen or destroyed across Northern Ireland.

On Wednesday, two men were arrested in Co Down over damage to election posters. They were later released pending a report to the Public Prosecution Service.

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