Belfast Telegraph

Call for council probe over posters calling for release of dissident Tony Taylor

The DUP have demanded an investigation into the matter

Derry and Strabane District Council have confirmed that they are considering their options after a number of 'unauthorised' posters were erected in the city this weekend.

The posters bear the council's logo and call for the release of dissident republican prisoner Tony Taylor.

A spokesperson for Derry City and Strabane District Council has confirmed that it did not commission or erect the posters.

In relation to what action has been taken - the Council spokesperson said this matter is currently being considered.

The posters were placed on the roundabout outside the Guildhall and at the 'Let the Dance Begin' tin sculptures in Strabane by people in official high-visibility council jackets.

In 2016, the council backed a motion tabled by independent councillor Gary Donnelly to call for Mr Taylor's immediate release.

Taylor was returned to prison in March 2016, on the instructions of the then Secretary of State Theresa Villiers.

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) said his licence was revoked by the Parole Commission because of the risk he posed to the public.

Taylor, a former IRA man, was sentenced to 18 years in prison in 1994 after he was seriously injured in a premature explosion in Derry.

He was then released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

In 2011, Taylor was then sentenced to three years behind bars for possession of a rifle in a case that made history by using covert surveillance evidence gathered by a drone.

The 48-year-old is currently detained at Maghaberry Prison.

Foyle DUP MLA Gary Middleton has called for an urgent investigation into the erecting of the posters.

“Over the weekend individuals took it upon themselves to erect posters calling for the release of convicted terrorist Tony Taylor," he said.

"They decided to use the logo and property of ‘Derry City & Strabane District Council’ to promote this campaign, without the authorisation of the council.

"Photos released have shown the large posters being erected by individuals wearing council branded work wear. 

"We will be asking council to undertake an urgent investigation into this situation and to take appropriate action in having these posters removed immediately for the good of community relations.”


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