Belfast Telegraph

Senior PSNI officer 'depressed at state of Northern Ireland' after controversial bonfire

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd
PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd

A senior PSNI officer said he is "utterly depressed" at the state of Northern Ireland following a controversial bonfire in Londonderry on Wednesday evening.

Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd was speaking after the names of murdered police and prison officers were placed on the bonfire in the Bogside area of the city.

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

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

The bonfire attracted widespread condemnation from across Northern Ireland .

Assistant Chief Constable Todd said that despite progress being made small sections of the community were intent on causing disruption.

"It's depressing, it's utterly, utterly depressing and it leaves me depressed at the state of the country that I provide a policing service to," he said.

"Whilst we have made progress in recent years regrettably there are still pockets of hate aimed at the organisation I represent, aimed at the people who offer a tremendous service to communities, by people who have nothing to offer their communities. 

"That is both depressing and sticks in my throat. The fact that we aren't able to resolve that alongside our partners is hugely regrettable, but I don't have a better answer to it. "

The controversial bonfire in the Bogside in Derry
The controversial bonfire in the Bogside in Derry

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