Bigots blamed for latest attack on World War One memorial

William Humphrey at the Woodvale Park Great War Memorial this morning.
William Humphrey at the Woodvale Park Great War Memorial this morning.

A World War One memorial was attacked for the third time in the space of three weeks overnight.

The European Great War Memorial in Woodvale Park was sprayed with IRA slogans, the tablet at the nearby Peace Tree daubed and kicked over, whilst the tree itself was also sprayed with IRA slogans.

North Belfast MLA William Humphrey, who is also Honorary Vice President of the City of Belfast Branch of the Army Benevolent Fund said: “Only in the last few days we have been marking the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Jutland, and next month we will commemorate the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. There is a growing recognition of the shared sacrifice across during the First World War.

“The attack on this memorial is a hate crime, motivated by nothing short of blind bigotry. The memorial has been subjected to repeated attacks over recent weeks in what is clearly a concerted campaign. Those who attacked the memorial are obviously ignorant of the fact that it is totally inclusive, given that it remembers German soldiers.

“This memorial was put in place through the hard work of the Army Benevolent Fund and I will continue to work with my colleagues in the ABF to ensure the memorial is restored and will continue to stand as a fitting memorial to those who died in the Great War.”

TUV Councillor Jolene Bunting added that “the attack on the War Memorial in Woodvale Park is disgusting”.

She said: “Slogans glorifying terrorists and gloating in the murder of Lee Rigby were scrawled on a memorial which commemorates all of those who died in the First World War from across Europe and beyond.

“Additionally, the Peace tree (planted in 1916 in memory of the soldiers of the area who never came home) was attacked.

“This attack is clearly an attempt by Republicans to stir up tensions ahead of the annual parades. “Anyone with information about this appalling attack should immediately come forward to the police.”