Belfast Telegraph

Names of murdered police, prison officers and stolen poppy wreaths placed on Derry bonfire

By Mark Edwards

The son of murdered prison officer David Black said he was "absolutely sickened" after a board bearing the name of his father was placed on top of a republican bonfire in Londonderry's Bogside.

The names on the bonfire included murdered PSNI officers Ronan Kerr and Stephen Carroll as well as prison officers David Black and Adrian Ismay.

Stolen poppy wreaths were also placed on the bonfire.

David Black's son, Kyle, posted on social media: "My dad, along with the other brave men named, served their community with dignity and respect. This in complete contrast to those responsible for this. Absolutely sickened."

DUP councillor Graham Warke posted a video on social media condemning the bonfire, saying he was "sickened and disgusted".

He said: "These three poppy wreaths were laid on July 1 at a war cenotaph. They represent everyone in this city who fought in World War One. On July 3 these three poppy wreaths were stolen and they were reported to PSNI.

"Now we have them sitting on a bonfire ready to get burnt tonight.

"I call on anyone with influence to get these poppy wreaths removed immediately."

Cllr Warke, speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, said the same thing had happened last year and that poppy wreaths were burnt.

"This has ended up the same as last year, back on the Bogside bonfire. It is not every year it happens.

"I have seen the names myself, the names of murdered PSNI officers and prison officers on the bonfire now. I am totally disgusted. The poppies is bad enough, but having the names of murdered police officers on that bonfire is terrible.

"The poppy wreaths represent everyone that fought in World War One, from both sides of the community. To see poppy wreaths going up in smoke is awful and to see the names of murdered prison officers and police officers on it is a total disgrace."

He added: "It is just pure hatred."

Cllr Ward said there were efforts from community youth workers at the scene to get the poppy wreaths removed.

He said the PSNI was aware of the situation.

Sinn Féin Councillor Patricia Logue condemned the ‘display of hate’ that took place at a bonfire in the Bogside area of Derry.

Cllr Logue said: "There were several hate fires that took place in this city over July and August but nothing justifies what occurred in Meenan Square and those responsible for putting poppy wreaths, flags and other hate messages on the bonfire are intent only on causing extreme offence and damaging community relations.

"This is nothing but a display of hate and has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with republicanism.

"The people of the Bogside do not want this bonfire and they certainly do not want displays of hate designed to cause distress and antagonism to their neighbours in this city."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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