Belfast Telegraph

Replace hate with love and you'll be free, says McGuinness son as father's image placed on Derry bonfire

Images of the late Martin McGuinness placed on bonfire.
Images of the late Martin McGuinness placed on bonfire.
Images of the late Martin McGuinness placed on bonfire.
Jonathan Bell

By Jonathan Bell

Pictures of the late Martin McGuinness have been placed on a loyalist bonfire on the outskirts of Londonderry.

Two pictures have been placed on the bonfire in Tullyally.

One is part of a poster for the Chieftain's Walk which is held in honour of the late deputy First Minister to raise funds for the Foyle Hospice and the Intensive Care Unit at Altnagelvin Hospital.

In response Mr McGuinness's son Fiachra, sent out a message.

"Replace fear, hate and anger with love and you will be free," he tweeted.

The pyre has also been covered in the Irish Tricolour and other Irish flags.

It comes just a day after the names of murdered prison officer David Black and police officer Stephen Carroll were placed on a republican bonfire in Newry. An offensive message aimed at the late Willie Frazer was also placed on the pyre.

Both DUP leader Arlene Foster and Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill condemned the incident.

PSNI Deputy Chief Constable Stephen Martin described both incidents as "disgraceful".

"Showing contempt for the deceased is despicable and very hurtful to their families," he said.

"Whether it is loyalist or republican is irrelevant. These shameful displays must be unequivocally condemned by all."

Sinn Fein's Karen Mullan condemned the display calling on the leaders of political unionism to speak out against the "hatemongers" behind it.

The Foyle MLA said: “I utterly condemn those who have erected an image of Martin McGuinness on a bonfire in the Tullyally area of Derry.

“This display is particularly sickening given that it’s a poster advertising a charity walk.

“This is the action of hatemongers intent on spreading bigotry and perpetuating sectarian divisions in our society."

Traditionally bonfires are lit around the city on the eve of the annual Apprentice Boys Relief of Derry parade.

“This behaviour stands in stark contrast to the work that Martin McGuinness did to build reconciliation and reach out the hand of friendship to all communities," continued Ms Mullan.

“It is also grossly insulting to the McGuinness family who still mourn the loss of their loved one.

“I am calling on political unionism to show leadership by condemning this display of hate and demanding an end to such sickening and sectarian hate crimes.”

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