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Paint attack on IRA victims' memorial

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The Teebane memorial was attacked yesterday

The Teebane memorial was attacked yesterday

The Teebane memorial was attacked yesterday

Police are treating an attack on a memorial to eight Protestant workmen killed by the IRA in the early 1990s as a sectarian hate crime.

It was discovered yesterday morning that paint had been thrown over the memorial on the Drum Road, Cookstown, overnight.

Ulster Unionist councillor Trevor Wilson condemned the incident. "I am utterly disgusted," he said.

"Republicans often talk the language of rights and respect, but actions speak louder than words, and in Mid Ulster the unionist community has learned down the years that for many republicans, we are entitled to no rights and no respect."

The workmen were murdered when the IRA blew up their minibus at Teebane crossroads on the road between Omagh and Cookstown on January 17, 1992.

Another six men were left injured.

Their firm Karl Construction had been specifically targeted, the IRA said, because it had carried out work at a nearby Army barracks.

The black stone roadside memorial has been attacked repeatedly over the years. It was destroyed in 1996 and replaced a year later. In 2005 marks, possibly inflicted by a hammer or bullets, were left on the monument after an attack. There have been several more since.

Mr Wilson added: "Whoever committed this act of desecration has nothing of value to contribute to any community or cause.

"They cannot respect the memory of eight men murdered as they returned home from a day's work, and they should not be surprised that all decent citizens will regard both them and their actions with utter contempt."

Police have appealed for witnesses.

Belfast Telegraph