Belfast Telegraph

Nato sailors quizzed over vandalism to Belfast bridge

By David Young

Nato sailors are under investigation following an incident in which damage was caused to Belfast's Lagan Weir footbridge.

The vandalism to a dozen specialised decorative glass panels is expected to run into thousands of pounds.

The damage of the £5.5m bridge happened at around 4am on Saturday morning - just hours after Nato sailors were spotted partying in fancy dress on board a minehunter moored just yards from the footbridge.

The ship is part of Standing Nato Mine Countermeasures Group 1, a six-strong Nato unit visiting the city.

Nato public affairs officer Lieutenant Commander Talis Dzerve confirmed that a number of crew members were under investigation following the incident.

"Yes, we can confirm that this was crew members from the group. The responsible officer is co-operating with the police in this case," he said.

The naval officer said he could not comment further on the matter.

However, last night the PSNI last night stated that the Lagan Weir footbridge vandalism had not been reported to them.

A Department for Communities spokesperson - which is responsible for the bridge - said: "This was a senseless act of vandalism to a very popular attraction in Belfast.

"Since the bridge opened almost three years ago, it has been used by many thousands of people, many of whom are tourists to the city."

Belfast Telegraph

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