Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein call for banner supporting British soldiers to be removed in south Belfast

Soldier Support Banner - Lisburn Road - 23 June 2019. Credit: Press Eye
Soldier Support Banner - Lisburn Road - 23 June 2019. Credit: Press Eye

A Sinn Fein MLA has called on the PSNI to ensure the removal of a banner supporting British soldiers erected in south Belfast.

The banner was put up on the Lisburn Road over the weekend and states: "Our soldiers are heroes, not criminals".

Sinn Fein MLA Máirtín Ó Muilleoir said the banner has "nothing to do with the cause of justice", adding that it is an attempt to intimidate and "mark out territory".

“The community is in no doubt that certain loyalist paramilitaries have given their blessing and put their muscle behind the display of similar banners across the North," he said.

“These paramilitaries are already engaged in the intimidation of mixed communities across south Belfast, not least in ‘shared’ housing developments in Belfast.

“The PSNI is enabling these paramilitaries by allowing these banners to be erected.

“I have made clear to the PSNI senior commander in Belfast today that the PSNI should now enable the removal of this intimidating banner on the Lisburn Road.”

The PSNI was not available for comment but senior officers have previously said in relation to other banners that it is not the responsibility of police to remove flags or banners unless there is a substantial risk to public safety.

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