Londonderry ‘join IRA sign’ is ‘hate crime’

A 'join the IRA' mural that has appeared in Londonderry

Pic date: 05-09-16
A 'join the IRA' mural that has appeared in Londonderry Pic date: 05-09-16

A recruitment sign for the IRA in the Bogside of Londonderry has been reported as a hate crime.

DUP MLA Gary Middleton said the sign has been erected in Westland St, only 200 yards from the site of a controversial dissident republican bonfire which recently burnt Sinn Fein election posters.

“We reported this to police as a hate crime against unionists but the response was that it has been up for a year and that they would report it to the council but there was nothing they could do.”

He said police had recently took down Parachute Regiment flags in the city.

“It is a sign screwed to the wall. It says ‘Unfinished Revolution, Unfinished Business - Join the IRA’.

“We condemn this - it is contemptuous of the Peace Process and all the work that is being done for a shared future.

“See see it is trying to drag young people into hatred for the unionist people.

“The police got back to us and said it had been up for about a year. But we do not see that as in any way relevant.”

He said a sign encouraging recruitment to a terrorist group in the Waterside would be “ludicrous”.

A recent bonfire which made national headlines, carrying Sinn Fein posters, was only 200 yards from the poster, he said, signifying the dissident republican influence in the area.

“Police tell us they have no power to remove this IRA poster. However they had no problem taking down two Parachute Regiment flags in the Waterside in August.”

He said police came in to remove the two flags on 12 August.

“We do not condone the flying of Parachute Regiment flags. People say they fly them as a protest against what they see as a hierarchy of victims in the city.

“We encouraged young people to go and remove them but the next day the police just came in and took them down.

“This explains why so many people are angry at this IRA recruitment poster being tolerated in the Bogside.”

The PSNI has not yet offered any comment.