Republicans in Northern Ireland set alight a huge bonfire that included stolen poppy wreaths, union flags and the names of murdered police officers.
A video captured by a BBC journalist shows that a large crowd gathered in Derry’s Bogside, a strongly nationalist area, and watched on as the massive pyre burned to the ground.
The names of Stephen Kerr, David Black and Ronan Kerr, Adrian Ismay, were emblazoned on the top of the bonfire.
All of the men had been murdered by Republican groups because of their work for Northern Ireland’s security services.
The son of David Black, a prison officer who was killed by dissident republicans in 2012, said he was sickened by the inclusion of their names.
Kyle Black wrote on Twitter My dad, along with the other brave men named, served their community with dignity and respect. This in complete contrast to those responsible for this.
Politicians in Northern Ireland condemned the bonfire as it was was erected overnight on Tuesday on derelict land close to a residential neigbourhood.
This bonfire was located a short distance from a smaller bonfire that had no flags, emblems or messages in the grounds of Gasyard Park and was part of a family and community carnival.
DUP councillor Graham Warke posted a video on social media and said These three poppy wreaths were laid on July 1 at a war cenotaph. They represent everyone from this city who fought in World War One. On July 3 these three poppy wreaths were stolen and they were reported to PSNI.
Now we have them sitting on a bonfire ready to get burnt tonight.
I call on anybody with any bit of influence to get these poppy wreaths removed immediately.
Alliance Party leader Naomi Long said the Bogside bonfire was utterly disgusting and shameful.
There is no place for this kind of sectarianism, intimidation and disrespect for flags and symbols, she said.
A small number of people on both sides of our community seem determined to drag us back. They must not prevail.
SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said the bonfire does not represent the people of Derry.
Totally appalled to see flags, poppy wreaths and the names of murdered policemen on a bonfire in Derry.
Reps from all parties and youth workers tried to stop it.
This nonsense doesn’t represent the views of the people of Derry.
It’s sectarian and anti social. Nothing more.
In July, vehicles were hijacked and torched in Northern Ireland amid violence linked to traditional loyalist bonfires.
Masked men hijacked a bus and set it on fire in Belfast, police said, in one of several incidents unfolding across the city during Eleventh Night disorder.
News Source MirrorNews