Republicans slammed for ‘despicable’ bonfire taunt

The anti-internment bonfire at Camlough Road in Newry
The anti-internment bonfire at Camlough Road in Newry

A reference to the dead father of victims campaigner William Frazer at a republican bonfire has been branded “despicable in the extreme”.

Mr Frazer described those responsible for glorifying the murder of his father as “mindless uneducated intrenched individuals”.

The message appeared earlier this week at a bonfire at Camlough Road in Newry which has since been burnt. Painted on a piece of wood at the anti-internment bonfire, it read: ‘Willie F wers ur daddy? (sic)’

Also at the bonfire site was anti-PSNI grafitti and a Union Flag with an image of the Queen on it.

Mr Frazer’s father Bertie – a part time UDR member – was murdered by the IRA on August 30, 1975 at a farm near Whitecross in south Armagh.

Mr Frazer said: “This shows the mentality of these mindless uneducated intrenched individuals.

“These people are unwilling to move forward their only aim is to provoke and spread their hate filled agenda.

“I am well used to this type of mindless bigotry as are the families of the victims we represent, daily we take abuse be it over the phone or in the street. These people have no history, no culture, nothing to be proud of so they cling on to he glorification of murder. It’s more to be pitied”

Mr Frazer added: “The victims won’t be deterred. We won’t shy away from confronting bigotry and glorification of murder. We will ensure that history is not rewritten and that these narrow minded provocateurs are exposed.”

Independent councillor Henry Reilly said the reference to Mr Frazer’s father was “despicable in the extreme”

He added: “It is deeply sinister given the degree of the sectarian ethnic cleansing campaign that was mounted against the Protestant community in South Armagh.

“Mr Frazer is not an elected representative but an innocent victims advocate and an attack of this type is designed to reopen wounds and reinforce the pain and suffering that the Republican movement inflicted on the Protestant community.”

Mr Reilly said it was notable that Sinn Fein have been silent on “this vile hate crime” while they are vocal against “virtually all expressions of Unionist culture in the South Down/South Armagh areas of even the most inoffensive and benign type”.

However yesterday a Sinn Fein spokesperson told the News Letter the party would encourage police prosecutions for anyone perpetrating hate crimes at any bonfire regardless of whether it was a loyalist or republican bonfire.