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Police seize Narrow Water rifle from west Belfast museum

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The mangled metal frame of an L1A1 Self-Loading Rifle thought to be that of a soldier involved in the Narrow Water atrocity: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

The mangled metal frame of an L1A1 Self-Loading Rifle thought to be that of a soldier involved in the Narrow Water atrocity: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

PA

The mangled metal frame of an L1A1 Self-Loading Rifle thought to be that of a soldier involved in the Narrow Water atrocity: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Police have seized a rifle linked to the Narrow Water massacre which was on display at a republican museum in west Belfast.

The Roddy McCorley Society has amassed a collection of items related to the Troubles and associated with the republican tradition, as well as some items from loyalists.

One of the items is a British soldier's rifle from the Narrow Water attack by the IRA in 1979, in which 18 British soldiers died.

The museum also displays a pair of Colonel Gaddafi's slippers.

Police have now seized the rifle after concerns from victims of the Troubles that the museum was "glorifying terrorism".

Detective Chief Inspector Zoe McKee, from PSNI’s Legacy Investigation Branch, said police attended the Roddy McCorley Social Club and "engaged with representatives of the museum".

“Following assessment, we are now in possession of this artefact, and further enquiries are being progressed," she said.

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Kevin Carson, the curator of the Roddy McCorley Society living history museum in Belfast, holds a pair of Colonel Gaddafi’s slippers

Kevin Carson, the curator of the Roddy McCorley Society living history museum in Belfast, holds a pair of Colonel Gaddafi’s slippers

PA

Jonathan Ganesh, from the Docklands Victims Association (DVA), said he was also concerned that £1m from Belfast City Council has been earmarked for the Roddy McCorley museum.

He told the Nolan Show: "At the DVA offices in London we have had a number of emails and telephone calls from victims, not just victims of the Troubles, but other terrorist atrocities, and we are extremely concerned.

"We find it extremely offensive to say the least.

"We have to be very careful in the future. Terrorism is wrong . This museum, the Roddy McCorley Society, they are advertising a gun and they are also advertising slippers belonging to Gaddafi. These items, which I find macabre, I feel glorify terrorism."

A Belfast City Council spokesman said: “An indicative ring-fenced allocation of £1m has been agreed ‘in principle’ at this stage. This does not constitute a final investment decision.

"As with all projects, these will be required to go through the council’s three stage approval process and committee will be kept up to date on their progress.

"All projects will be tested against the council’s four ‘investment abilities’ – feasibility/affordability/deliverability and sustainability. This is for the development of a modern interpretative museum and existing grounds."

The Roddy McCorley Society has been approached for comment.

Belfast Telegraph