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'Disgust' at attack on Teebane memorial - police treating as sectarian hate crime

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Paint was thrown over the memorial.

Paint was thrown over the memorial.

Paint was thrown over the memorial.

Paint was thrown over the memorial.

Flowers are laid at a  memorial service for those killed at Teebane on the 25th Anniversary.
Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

Flowers are laid at a memorial service for those killed at Teebane on the 25th Anniversary. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

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Paint was thrown over the memorial.

Police are treating an attack on a memorial to eight Protestant workmen killed by the IRA in the early 1990s as a sectarian-motivated hate crime.

It was discovered on Tuesday morning paint had been thrown over the memorial on the Drum Road, Cookstown, sometime overnight.

The Ulster Unionist Party’s Cookstown Councillor Trevor Wilson condemned the incident.

“I am utterly disgusted," he said.

“Republicans often talk the language of rights and respect, but actions speak louder than words, and in Mid Ulster the Unionist community has learned down the years that for many republicans, we are entitled to no rights and no respect."

The workmen were murdered and maimed when the IRA blew up their minibus at Teebane crossroads on the road between Omagh and Cookstown on Friday January 17, 1992. Another six were left injured.

Their firm - Karl Construction - had been specifically targeted, the IRA said, because it had carried out work at a nearby Army barracks.

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The black stone roadside memorial has been attacked repeatedly over the years. It was destroyed in 1996 and replaced a year later. In 2005 it was left damaged through either a hammer attack or it had been shot at with several marks left. Those marks were left on the memorial as part of the story of Teebane it was said at the time. There have been a number of attacks since.

“Whoever committed this act of desecration at this memorial has nothing of value to contribute to any community or cause. They cannot respect the memory of eight men murdered as they returned home from a day’s work, and they should not be surprised that all decent citizens will regard both them and their actions with utter contempt,” Councillor Wilson added.

Police have appealed for witnesses.

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Remains of the van in which seven workmen were killed in an IRA landmine explosion in Teebane, Co.Tyrone. Pacemaker Press

Remains of the van in which seven workmen were killed in an IRA landmine explosion in Teebane, Co.Tyrone. Pacemaker Press

Remains of the van in which seven workmen were killed in an IRA landmine explosion in Teebane, Co.Tyrone. Pacemaker Press

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