County Derry MPs strike as posters are placed on bonfires

Two East Derry MPs struck after flags and election posters were placed on Eleventh Night bonfires.

Caoimhe Archibald posted photographs online of two different pyres – identifying the latter as being in the Harpur’s Hill area of ​​Coleraine – on which his own election posters and those of SDLP’s Cara Hunter and Aontú candidate Gemma Brolly were placed .

The photograph also showed the Irish national flag and a number of Derry GAA flags placed on the stacked pallets in preparation for the lighting of the bonfires this evening.

“The burning of election flags and posters over bonfires is wrong, deeply offensive and a hate crime,” the Sinn Féin representative said.

“I have reported this to the PSNI. It is incumbent on unionist political and community leaders to stand up against manifestations of sectarian hatred and make it clear that there is no place for them.”

Reacting to the same photograph, fellow MP Cara Hunter called it “blatant bigotry”.

“The normalization of these types of bonfires is a sad reflection of where we are today,” she said.

“It’s time for the leaders of the Unionist community to step up and call this out for what it is – blatant bigotry. This needs to stop.”

The PSNI said it was “gathering evidence” after a number of complaints were received about objects being placed on bonfires.

“The police department has received a number of complaints regarding flags, effigies, election posters and other emblems placed on bonfires,” a spokesperson said.

“We are gathering evidence regarding these complaints and will review it to establish whether any offenses have been committed.”

The sentencing comes as final preparations begin for the lighting of the Eleventh Night bonfires later that night.

Tributes also continue to be paid to bonfire builder John Steele, who died on Saturday night after falling from a bonfire in the Antiville area of ​​Larne.

Those building the nearby Craigyhill bonfire – which was trying to break the record for the tallest bonfire ever built – hope to dedicate the bonfire to the memory of the father-of-two.

A post on the official Craigyhill, Larne bonfire Facebook page.

Organizers say the bonfire was measured using ‘lasers and a drone’ and was 202ft tall, four feet taller than the 198ft recorded in Lustenau, Austria, in March 2019.

Shortly after the measurements were taken, footage emerged of the pyre atop the bonfire falling to the ground, with organizers later announcing it had been removed “in a controlled fall” due to “safety concerns as the wind picked up.

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