Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland war memorial attack an 'insult to our war dead'

The Knockagh war memorial was attacked over recent days.
The Knockagh war memorial was attacked over recent days.

An MLA has blasted as "disgraceful and shocking" an attack on a Co Antrim war memorial describing it as an "insult to our war dead".

The Knockagh war memorial sits above the village of Greenisland, overlooking Belfast Lough.

Dating back to 1922 the 33metre high obelisk remembers those killed in both the First and Second World Wars. Over a decade ago 10 Northern Ireland councils came together to help with the £50,000 cost to refurbish the monument.

On Tuesday it was discovered a plaque marking the 2006 rededication was vandalised. It has been scored multiple times.

Carrick UUP MLA John Stewart described it as an "insult to our war dead". 

He said he hoped it was just mindless vandalism as opposed to something more sinister behind the motive for the incident.

"Those mindless idiots behind this have no understanding or consideration for the respect or symbolism of the sacrifice of their fore fathers," he said.

"I just despair.

"Sadly it is unlikely that those responsible will be caught but I hope they deeply regret their idiotic behaviour."

Mr Stewart said the matter was reported to the police and he called on Mid & East Antrim Council to carry out the necessary repairs. It is thought, given the extent of the damage to the memorial the plaque will have to be replaced.

Council officials are to have the damage examined to determine the scale of the damage and how it can be fixed.

A spokeswoman for Mid & East Antrim Council added: “It’s extremely disappointing that this damage has been caused to the recently refurbished Knockagh war memorial.

“The damage is being assessed to see what level of repairs need to take place. We would encourage anyone with information in relation to this incident to report it to police.”

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