'Sickening' vandalism attack on Narrow Water massacre memorial in Northern Ireland
A vandalism attack on a memorial to 18 murdered soldiers in Warrenpoint has been called 'sickening".
Tributes have long been kept at the roadside spot in Narrow Water castle - the scene of the world attack on the Army during the Troubles.
The Narrow Water massacre on August 27, 1979, saw 18 soldiers killed in two IRA bomb blasts.
Wreaths and crosses had been placed there and have been desecrated overnight. The memorial has been targeted numerous times.
Ulster Unionist councillor David Taylor said: "I am disgusted that poppy wreaths placed at Narrow Water, Warrenpoint have been desecrated once again.
“These attacks never stop. It is just endless. The people that commit these crimes are full of hate.
"Given the events of this week when we have seen terrorists bring death and destruction to the people of Manchester, it is appalling that there are still people in Northern Ireland who have learnt nothing from our past and are so full of hatred that they want to destroy memorials to the victims of terrorism from Northern Ireland`s Troubles.”
Harold McKee, Ulster Unionist Westminster candidate for South Down said it was a "sickening attack".
Sinn Fein's Chris Hazzard said: "The desecration and vandalism of poppies and floral tributes at the memorial in Narrow Water is wrong and I condemn it.
"Everyone has the right to remember their dead with dignity and respect, as enshrined in the Good Friday Agreement.
"There can be no place for vandalism attacks on monuments, memorials and other places where people remember their dead."
The DUP's Diane Forsythe urged those with any information to pass it on to the police.
She said: "This is a disgraceful attack on the memorial to soldiers who were brutally murdered by the Provisional IRA. It is clearly a hate crime and I hope the police will be investigating it as such. It can have been motivated by nothing more than bigotry and unfortunately repeats a pattern we have seen all too often before against other memorials to those murdered by the IRA across Northern Ireland. It is not the first time either that this memorial has been subject to attack.
"Unfortunately we still have those within our society here who seek to glorify the terrorism carried out in Northern Ireland. I would hope those responsible for this can be identified and brought to justice. Anyone with who might have information which could help must pass it on to the police.”
Police are appealing for information following the attack which they have called a "hate crime".
Officers said the damage was caused shortly before 8.30am on Thursday.
Sergeant Allister Patterson said: "We are treating this incident as a hate crime and I am appealing to anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the vicinity recently, or anyone who may have information that could assist in our enquiries, to contact police in Newry on 101 quoting reference 264 of 25/05/17. Alternatively, information can be given anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."
Belfast Telegraph Digital