Belfast Telegraph

Pictured: Racist banner about Celtic player Sinclair appears on Belfast bonfire

By Claire Williamson

Police are investigating after a racist banner was placed on a bonfire in east Belfast.

The banner is believed to have been placed at the bonfire in the Avoniel Leisure Centre and made a reference to Celtic football player Scott Sinclair.

A PSNI spokesman said: "Police are investigating complaints about various materials some of which are clearly distasteful, placed on the bonfire.

"Where police are aware of a crime being committed, an investigation will follow.

"We take hate crime very seriously and actively investigate all incidents reported to us. Hate crime is wrong on all levels and the PSNI will do everything it can to ensure that everyone, from whatever background, can live free from prejudice, fear and discrimination."

Former footballer, turned pundit Stan Collymore expressed his disgust.

Sinn Fein MLA Fra McCann called the banner "disgusting".

Writing on his Facebook he said: "Another example of the vile bigotry and racism that exists within loyalism and unionism. This is a disgusting attack on a Celtic player because of his ethnic background and only highlights the twisted nature of what these people call 'culture'.

Avoniel bonfire is one of four at the focus of Belfast City Council's injunction.

The council took action on the sites at Bloomfield Walkway, Avoniel Leisure Centre car park, Inverary playing fields and Cregagh Park East.

The High Court Injunction prevents more materials being added to four loyalist bonfires in Belfast amid health and safety concerns.

Earlier Sinn Fein's John Finucane and the SDLP's Daniel McCrossan reported to the police their election posters appearing on bonfires.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph