Belfast Telegraph

Yobs vandalise poppy wreath at Newry Cenotaph

Yobs have desecrated a number of poppy wreaths laid at the base of the Newry Cenotaph, less than a week after a similar attack on a memorial at Narrow Water.

More than a dozen wreaths laid at the site were thrown into the nearby Newry Canal.

On Monday criminal damage was caused to poppy wreaths at the Narrow Water memorial in Warrenpoint, which commemorates 18 soldiers killed in two IRA bomb blasts in 1979.

Local Ulster Unionist Councillor David Taylor said: "The local community are understandably disgusted at this incident and are very clear that the perpetrators of this shameful act do not speak for the vast majority of citizens in Newry.

"This was reflected in the fact that a cross section of the Newry community assisted with the retrieval of the wreaths from the river.

"There are still some unfortunately who are determined to try and cause division, driven by a narrow sectarian mind-set and it is sickening to see a Cenotaph targeted in this way as they pursue their warped agenda.

“I would appeal to anyone with information on this hate crime to report it to Police immediately to ensure that those responsible for this heinous action are brought to justice."

The attack was also condemned by Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy, who said: "This criminal act at the Newry Cenotaph is wrong and I condemn it. There is no place for attacks like this in our society. Monuments and memorials are important places of commemoration and remembrance within communities and should be respected."

The PSNI confirmed police in Newry received a report of damage caused at a Cenotaph at Bank Parade, and that enquiries are ongoing.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police in Newry on 101 quoting reference number 539 14/07/18.

Alternatively information can be provided anonymously to independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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