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Police working to determine if Derry bonfire a hate crime - murdered police and prison officer names on pyre

 

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Tourists photograph flags on a controversial bonfire, in the Bogside area of Londonderry, which is traditionally torched on August 15. Credit: George Sweeney

Tourists photograph flags on a controversial bonfire, in the Bogside area of Londonderry, which is traditionally torched on August 15. Credit: George Sweeney

Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service battle the bonfire in the Bogside.

Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service battle the bonfire in the Bogside.

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Tourists photograph flags on a controversial bonfire, in the Bogside area of Londonderry, which is traditionally torched on August 15. Credit: George Sweeney

Police are investigating if a Londonderry bonfire which had the names of murdered police and prison officers placed on it constitutes a hate crime.

The bonfire in the Bogside area, had placards on it with the names of murdered PSNI officers Ronan Kerr and Stephen Carroll and prison officers David Black and Adrian Ismay.

 

The bonfire also featured Union flags, British Army flags, poppy wreaths which had been stolen from the city's cenotaph, and a Donald Trump election sign.

Hundreds gathered to watch the bonfire be set alight, fire crews had to be dispatched to contain the blaze from spreading to nearby buildings.

 

Police also came under attack during the bonfire with three petrol bombs being thrown from Derry's Walls.

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A 35-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the petrol bomb attack and remains in police custody.

"Police have received a number of reports that material, some of which is clearly distasteful and offensive, had been placed on a bonfire in the Meenan Drive area of Derry/Londonderry yesterday," Chief Inspector Paul McCracken said.

"Enquiries are ongoing to determine if a crime has been committed.

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The controversial bonfire in the Bogside in Derry

The controversial bonfire in the Bogside in Derry

The controversial bonfire in the Bogside in Derry

"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."


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