Belfast Telegraph

Parties united in outrage over attack on poppy wreaths in Newry

By Staff Reporter

Sinn Fein has joined in condemning the desecration of poppy wreaths on a war memorial over the weekend.

More than a dozen laid at the Cenotaph in Newry were thrown into the canal in the city.

It comes less than a week after the Narrow Water memorial in nearby Warrenpoint was attacked.

Criminal damage was caused to poppy wreaths at the memorial, which commemorates the 18 soldiers killed in an IRA ambush in 1979.

Ulster Unionist councillor David Taylor said: "Not less than a week after poppy wreaths were desecrated at Narrow Water, we now have the occurrence of the same despicable action at Newry Cenotaph.

"The local community are understandably disgusted at this incident and are very clear that the perpetrators of this shameful act do not speak for the vast majority of citizens in Newry.

"This was reflected in the fact that a cross-section of the Newry community assisted with the retrieval of the wreaths from the river.

"There are still some unfortunately who are determined to try and cause division, driven by a narrow sectarian mind-set, and it is sickening to see a cenotaph targeted in this way as they pursue their warped agenda."

He appealed to anyone with information to give it to police. The attack was also condemned by Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy.

He said: "This criminal act at the Newry Cenotaph is wrong and I condemn it.

"There is no place for attacks like this in our society.

"Monuments and memorials are important places of commemoration and remembrance within communities and should be respected.

"Those involved in these criminal acts need to be apprehended and face the full rigours of the law."

The PSNI said enquiries are ongoing and anyone with information should contact it on the non-emergency number 101.

Belfast Telegraph

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