Belfast Telegraph

Wreaths on memorial in Co Down town damaged and thrown in river

Wreathes placed on a memorial in a Co Down town have been damaged and thrown in a river.

At around 10.30am on Sunday morning police received a report the wreaths had been damaged at the memorial in the Bridge Street area. 

A war memorial on Bridge Street regularly has wreaths of poppies placed at its base.

Reacting to the vandalism, independent unionist councillor Henry Reilly condemned the people who damaged the poppy wreathes.

"I am disgusted that anyone would be motivated to disrespect the memorial in such a fashion," he said.

"The memorial was not created as a political project but solely as a means of respecting the memory of all those who died in our council area due to their service.

"Those named on the memorial represent both Protestant and Catholic and people of all faiths and backgrounds and the people who would even contemplate desecrating wreaths laid in their memory should consider the degree of sacrifice made by those police and military but also the continued pain and suffering of their loved ones.

"I am very grateful to the young people who rallied round this morning and actually went into the adjacent Kilkeel river to retrieve several of the wreaths."

He said it was the last time there had been such an attack in 11 years.

Inspector John Allen said: "I am appealing to anyone who knows anything about this incident, or who has been in the area in recent days and noticed any suspicious activity, to contact police in Ardmore on the non emergency number 101, quoting reference number 524 of 17/06/18.

"Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”

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