McElduff Files hate Crime Complaint
Published: 11 July, 2016
Posters of local MLAs Barry McElduff and Declan McAleer on Annadale Bonfire, in South Belfast
Sinn Féin MLA Barry McElduff has said has filed a hate crime complaint with the PSNI after his election poster appeared on a loyalist bonfire site in south Belfast. His poster is one of a number of Sinn Féin MLAs whose posters adorn the Annadale bonfire. It is understood fellow Sinn Féin MLA for West Tyrone Declan McAleer also features on the bonfire.
Speaking on the issue, Barry McElduff MLA said:
"It is completely unacceptable that Sinn Féin election posters are placed on loyalist bonfires across the north. I had been received numerous reports of my posters being placed on bonfires. I have been provided with photographic evidence of a site in Annadale, south Belfast which confirms this to be the case. I have filed a Hate Crime complaint in regards to my poster being placed on the bonfire.
"Unfortunately the placing of Sinn Féin posters on bonfires sends out the message that a number of people are not prepared to move on and work together for the betterment of our communities, however I acknowledge that this group is a small minority. These bonfires adorned with posters, effigies and Irish national flags have absolutely nothing to do with culture and I would like to see more being done to see these being removed from bonfires.
"During the recent election campaign I was made aware of a number of my posters being stolen during the course of the campaign. Unfortunately these instances are par for the course during the election campaign but it appears that there was a more sinister motive behind some of these thefts.CRÍOCH