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Dissident group Saoradh derided for dog cruelty comments

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Patch had to be put to sleep due to her injuries

Patch had to be put to sleep due to her injuries

Patch had to be put to sleep due to her injuries

A dissident republican group has been criticised for issuing a statement over a sickening act of cruelty on a dog after failing to condemn the New IRA murder of journalist Lyra McKee.

Patch, who belonged to the daughter of a Saoradh activist, had to be put down after suffering multiple horrifying injuries in what is believed to have been an acid attack in Newry.

Vets tried to save her life, but the burns the animal sustained were too severe.

Saoradh spokesman Stephen Murney described the attack on the pet as "sickening".

He said: "I have spoken to members of the family and they are devastated that someone would do this to their pet.

"Their daughter and grandchild doted on Patch and they are heartbroken.

"This sickening incident has shocked and angered the entire community throughout Newry and beyond.

"We would appeal to anyone who has any information regarding this incident to contact any Saoradh activist."

While there has been widespread condemnation of the attack on the dog, Saoradh has been slammed for failing to condemn the fatal shooting of 29-year-old Ms McKee in April.

"They feel able to condemn the dreadful attack on the poor dog, but not the murder of a journalist," UUP councillor David Taylor said.

"I was very sorry to hear what happened to the dog.

"It was an evil act and I hope that those responsible for the appalling cruelty are brought to justice.

"No animal should ever suffer in that way.

"But I wish the group that has condemned this attack on the dog would show the same willingness to condemn murders carried out by republican terrorists."

Vet Liam Fitzsimons of Newry Veterinary Centre described Patch's injuries as "the worst case of animal cruelty I have ever seen" and that he'd "take this case to my grave".

Belfast Telegraph