Belfast Telegraph

Police treating attack on monument to IRA men killed by RUC as 'hate crime'

A republican monument in Craigavon was attacked with paint on Saturday night.

The monument commemorated IRA volunteers Gervaise McKerr, Eugene Toman and Sean Burns.

Mr Burns (21), Mr Toman (21) and Mr McKerr (31), all from Lurgan, were shot dead by an undercover RUC unit near the town in November 1982.

Police said the men were travelling in a car which crashed through a roadblock at Tullyglass East Road on the evening of November 11. Officers gave chase, opening fire and raking the car with 109 bullets.

Later it emerged that Mr Burns and Mr Toman were suspected of involvement in the killing of three RUC men a fortnight earlier.

The circumstances of their deaths have been under investigation for a number of years and are currently awaiting an inquest.

A previous inquest was abandoned in 1994.

Sinn Fein MLA John O’Dowd has condemned the attack.

“The families of these three men have already suffered immense hurt and loss," the Upper Bann MLA said.

“Those responsible struck in the dead of night.

“I wholeheartedly condemn this cowardly attack which serves absolutely no purpose other than to add to the grief of the families.

“We have reported this as a hate crime to the PSNI.”

Police confirmed they are investigating an incident of criminal damage to a monument in the Tullygally area of Craigavon.

Police are treating this as a hate crime and are appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or anyone with any information that can assist with the investigation to contact officers in Lurgan on 101 quoting reference 1103 01/07/18.

Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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