PSNI considers Republican poster on Enniskillen cenotaph to be hate incident
Twelve people were killed and nearly 70 others were injured in the IRA bombing of a Remembrance Sunday commemoration at the Enniskillen Cenotaph on November 8, 1987. The poster was reportedly erected two days after the anniversary , Wednesday evening – the eve of Armistice Day, November 11.
A PSNI spokesperson said he was aware of a number of posters erected in the Enniskillen area on Wednesday evening, including one at the cenotaph.
“Due to sensitivities around Armistice Day, a decision was made to remove and seize the poster at the cenotaph,” they said. “This is being treated as a hateful incident and an investigation is ongoing.”
DUP Fermanagh and South Tyrone MP Deborah Erskine condemned those responsible.
“It is shameful that a Republican poster was placed on the Enniskillen war memorial last night,” she said. “For an organization to put up these posters before acts of commemoration, it takes a special kind of twisted nature. They should introduce themselves and explain their need to be so callous and offensive.
“It was a deliberate act on the eve of Armistice Day. It was designed to offend. During the inauguration of this war memorial in 1922, the first wreaths were laid by Protestant and Catholic orphans. It is these parents, who came from all faiths and none, that we remember, but the people behind this poster just tried to do harm.
“I applaud the prompt action of the police and their decision to investigate this hate crime. Anyone around Enniskillen who has witnessed the installation of this poster at the war memorial should contact the police.
“Raising tensions and causing division is not what the people of Fermanagh and South Tyrone want. Those responsible are in the minority and always will be. Their sick agenda has no support.
DUP adviser Cllr Keith Elliott added: “I thank those who ensured that this particular poster was taken down promptly. However, this Republican organization put up posters across the city.
“We don’t want this behavior in Enniskillen. No one wants to see damaged community relationships.
UUP MP Rosemary Barton also condemned the actions of those responsible.
“In this week of Armistice and the 34th anniversary of the IRA massacre in Enniskillen, the installation of a number of these vile posters in the city – including at the war memorial – is no big deal. other than a hideous attempt to rekindle tensions in the region and people are indeed both disgusted and outraged, ”she said.
“The Enniskillen Cenotaph is a place to remember those who lost their lives in the two world wars, regardless of creed or color, and it is also where people lost their lives in the bomb Enniskillen of the IRA in 1987.
“Cenotaphs and war memorials should be a place of respect and contemplation. Only a seriously twisted mind would seek to erect the type of poster that was displayed at the Enniskillen War Memorial before Armistice Day, and programmed to cause maximum injury and offense.
“It is a hate crime which must be condemned by all political parties and as the police investigate I call on them to increase their surveillance around all the war memorials.”
Fermanagh and South Tyrone TUV spokesman Alex Elliott has written to the police chief on the matter to ask what action the PSNI is taking.
“In view of the events at this site in 1987, the posting of the poster caused enormous damage to community relations and is viewed by both the Unionist community and the innocent victims for exactly what it was – a calculated shot in the eye, ”he said.
He suggested that the potential offenses committed may be a hate crime against soldiers, their families and dependents and behavior that could lead to a breach of the peace.
Meanwhile, Armistice Day was marked by acts of commemoration in Belfast and Dublin.
One of the biggest rallies took place at Belfast Town Hall, run by the Royal British Legion, where Deputy Mayor Tom Haire and Sheriff Michael Long were part of a delegation to the Garden of Remembrance.
A crowd gathered on the pitch as the Last Post was played before a two-minute silence was observed at 11 a.m.
In Dublin, the armistice is signed in the Glasnevin cemetery.
It was attended by Deputy Mayor Joe Costello, Lord Lieutenant of Belfast Fionnuala Jay-O’Boyle, British Ambassador to Ireland Paul Johnson as well as French, Canadian and German ambassadors.
Defense Forces Major General Anthony McKenna and John Connolly of RAF Association Ireland were also present.
An ecumenical service was jointly led by Fr. Richard Sheehy and Rev. David Oxley.
Some seven crowns were laid while a bagpiper played a lament.
DUP and UUP participated in commemoration acts in Stormont.
This story will be updated with developments today.
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