‘Burning posters is not unionist culture’ says Doug Beattie after bonfire

The burning of election posters on a Portadown bonfire ‘is not unionist culture’ says Upper Bann UUP MLA Doug Beattie.

Monday, 5th July 2021, 11:45 am

Sinn Féin said it ‘should be investigated as a hate crime’.

Posters of Sinn Féin’s Callum O’Dufaigh and Alliance leader Nioami Long appeared on the side of a tall bonfire in the Rectory area.

Sinn Féin MLA John O’Dowd condemned the burning of election posters on a bonfire on Friday night.

Posters of a Sinn Féin Council candidate Callum O’Dufaigh and Alliance leader Nioami Long appeared on a bonfire in Rectory area of Portadown.
Posters of a Sinn Féin Council candidate Callum O’Dufaigh and Alliance leader Nioami Long appeared on a bonfire in Rectory area of Portadown.

Mr O’Dowd said: “As Callum O’Dufaigh celebrated his 21st birthday party in another part of his home town others were burning his image on a bonfire.

“The organisers and supporters of of such bonfires cannot have it both ways . It’s either culture or a hate crime it can’t be both.”

Alliance Upper Bann representative, Cllr Eóin Tennyson, said: “The burning of election posters and national flags is not a celebration of culture, but a promotion of hatred. It has no place in society.

“The placing of these election posters, as well as national flags, on the Rectory bonfire is disgraceful.

“All of us have a job of work to do in taking collective action to bring these sorts of provocative displays to an end.

“That will require political leadership and, of course, leadership in the community itself, as many people in local areas do not want this on their doorstep.

“For our part, Alliance will certainly not be deterred from working for everyone in our community.”

Upper Bann MLA and Ulster Unionist Party leader Doug Beattie describe the burning of these posters as ‘Utterly pointless’.

He added: “Burning posters and flags is not an expression of unionist culture. It’s an expression of hate.”

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