Belfast Telegraph

Narrow Water memorial to 18 murdered soldiers attacked again - 'show some respect,' says councillor

Fourth attack in year

By Jonathan Bell

A Newry councillor has called on those behind another attack on memorial for the 18 soldiers killed at Narrow Water to “show some respect”.

Poppy crosses, wreaths and floral tributes were destroyed some time overnight, police said yesterday.

They are treating the incident as a hate crime.

It’s thought the memorial to those killed in the 1979 IRA double bomb attack has been vandalised four times in the past year.

But Richard McKee, an admin for a Facebook page dedicated to the memorial, said individual wreaths and crosses had also been destroyed and rubbish has been thrown at the site.

“It’s very hard to comprehend the mindset and mentality of those behind it. I’m just really sickened and appalled,” he said.

On August 27, 1979 an Army convoy was ambushed by two roadside bombs.

The attack claimed the lives of 18 soldiers in what was the biggest single loss of life for the military during the Troubles.

DUP Newry councillor Glyn Hanna said: “Can the people that commit these attacks not show some respect.

“The wreaths mark the site where 18 soldiers/human beings who have families that still suffer from their loss died,” he said.

“I am not sure what can be done to stop this but republican and nationalist politicians need to step up to the mark. Actions not words are needed.”

Sinn Fein MLA Sinead Ennis also condemned the attack.

She said: “Monuments and memorials are important places in communities and should be respected.

“Anyone with information on this incident should contact the PSNI.”

Ulster Unionist councillor David Taylor said the attack caused him “deep anger and despair”.

“For this type of repulsive action to occur once is one time to many, but unfortunately this has become an all too regular occurrence at Narrow Water.

“Unfortunately intolerance continues to prevail amongst some in society and the lack of respect shown to those brave soldiers murdered at Narrow Water only serves to compound the hurt of their families.

“The perpetrators of these attacks must realise no matter how many times they attempt to eradicate the memory of the evil deed that occurred at Narrow Water, the local community will ensure the sacrifice paid by the 18 brave soldiers is never forgotten.”

Police are appealing for information.

Cliftonville Football Club fans were blamed for an attack on the memorial last month as they made their way home from an away game against Warrenpoint Town.

The club condemned the attack as “pathetic”, vowing to help police with their investigation.

A bus was seized and a number of people questioned.

A spokesperson for the PSNI revealed yesterday that its probe is still ongoing into that incident, with a “number of lines of enquiry” being investigated.

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