Anger over posters promoting memorial event for IRA killer

Cllr James Shiels
Cllr James Shiels

Republicans in Bellaghy have been urge to show leadership and remove provocative posters promoting a memorial event for IRA killer Thomas McElwee, which was held on Sunday.

DUP Councillor James Shiels accused republicans of attempting to intimidate unionists and glorify McElwee, who died during the hunger strikes in 1981.

“I have been contacted by constituents in Bellaghy concerned that once again posters with images of IRA killer Thomas McElwee, who died after committing suicide via hunger strike in 1981, have been erected outside the Protestant churches and Protestant primary school in the area,” said Mr Shields.

“On the one hand this Provo propaganda is designed to intimidate local unionists, on the other it is to promote a glorification parade of McElwee, a terrorist who was involved in many bombings in the local area and who was involved in the horrific firebombing of a clothes shop in Ballymena in which a young mother was burned to death, whilst trapped in the building.

“I am calling on Sinn Fein and all those involved in this parade to accept that McElwee is an individual who caused considerable suffering on the unionist community and to work towards removing these provocative posters immediately.”