Belfast Telegraph

Newry bonfire mocks IRA murder of father of William Frazer

A republican internment bonfire in Newry features materials mocking the IRA murder of the father of victims' campaigner William Frazer.

Mr Frazer's father Bertie was part-time UDR man and council worker who was murdered by the IRA on August 30 1975.

The Frazer family lost a number of members to IRA violence during the Troubles.

Mr Frazer has spent much of his career campaigning for the rights of the victims of Troubles violence.

He said that he was dedicated to confronting bigotry and the glorification of murder and would not allow history to be rewritten.

"This shows the mentality of these mindless uneducated entrenched individuals. These people are unwilling to move forward their only aim is to provoke and spread their hate filled agenda," Mr Frazer said.

"I am well used to this type of mindless bigotry as are the families of the victims we represent, daily we take abuse be it over the phone or in the street. These people have no history, no culture nothing to be proud of so they cling on to he glorification of murder. It's more to be pitied."

"Those who wish to blacken my fathers name are doing so to justify their own sectarian agenda, my father like many others served the community with pride, enforcing law and order, republicans seek to rewrite the past to facilitate acceptance of their campaign.”

Local Ulster Unionist Councillor David Taylor condemned the organisers of the internment bonfire.

“A multitude of hate crimes have been committed by the organisers of an internment bonfire erected at Parkhead, Newry and they should be roundly condemned for their sickening actions," the Newry, Mourne and Down councillor said.

“Items placed on the bonfire reference victims’ campaigner William Frazer and his late father Bertie Frazer, who was murdered by the IRA. Other items direct highly offensive remarks towards HM The Queen and the RUC.

“The Frazer family have suffered greatly at the evil hands of Republicanism terrorism and it is completely unacceptable that they should have to tolerate this despicable behaviour."

Mr Taylor said the bonfire had been reported to police.

“These actions highlight that a sinister and threatening mindset continues to prevail within republicanism and the bonfire organisers should be roundly condemned across the political spectrum."

Sinn Fein's Newry and Armagh MP Mickey Brady said his party condemned the burning of flags, emblems, effigies and posters on bonfires.

"Such actions are hate crimes and must be eradicated," Mr Brady said.

"This so called anti-interment bonfire has nothing whatsoever to do with the legacy of interment. It is anti-republican, and does not celebrate any aspect of Irish national identity or cultural traditions.

"Those responsible are under no circumstances acting in the name of republicanism."

SDLP MLA Justin McNulty said those behind the bonfire should be "ashamed".

"In 2018 there can be no tolerance for such hate in our society," the MLA for Newry and Armagh said.

"The SDLP's message is clear, these actions do not reflect the true meaning of what it means to be an Irish Republican, and I hope they are widely condemned."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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