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Robinson - Sinn Fein should condemn all damage to signs

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Robinson - Sinn Fein should condemn all damage to signs thumbnail

DUP Clogher Valley Councillor Wills Robinson has condemned criminal damage to signs in the area and called on Sinn Fein to do likewise.  

Cllr Robinson said; "Over recent weeks road signs have been daubed with paint and some have been ripped out of the ground throughout the Clogher Valley.

"Those removing road signs are foolish and have little thought for the wider community.  These signs are needed for guidance to road users but most especially for emergency services when they are trying to find a property.

"At a time when many are complaining about potholes, its sheer madness to then have to direct money and people to repair road signs.  

Such stupidity needs to stop."

Cllr Robinson continued; "I note that Sinn Fein has condemned damage to signs containing the Irish language.  I echo that condemnation.  

Criminal damage to all road signs is wrong, must be condemned and should stop.

"Sinn Fein should join with me and condemn those who repeatedly damage directional signage at Ballygawley Roundabout for Londonderry.  

Paint has been daubed on these signs repeatedly to remove the word 'London' and in some cases new signs have had to be erected such has been the damage.

"At the border the "welcome to Northern Ireland" signage has also been defaced with shotgun holes blasted in the sign.  

This is clearly criminal.

"Will Sinn Fein join with me in condemning all criminal damage to signage throughout the Clogher Valley and also join me in calling for such foolishness to stop?"

 Meanwhile, signs have been been erected in Moygashel and Dungannon warning Mid-Ulster District Council of "aggression" after it agreed to introduce a bonfire licensing scheme.

The signs, in Moygashel, Eastvale and Kilmerron Grove and which have both appeared in the past week, carrying the same writing and font.

They read: "Attention Mid-Ulster council. Continued cultural oppression can only lead to aggression toward the oppressor."

The warning comes after Mid-Ulster District Council voted to introduce a bonfire licensing scheme which requires that "no hazardous or toxic materials are collected, stored or burned", and that "no flags, emblems or effigies are burned".

The decision was supported by nationalist parties, but heavily criticised by unionists who branded it a "dictatorial approach" that will "damage community relations".

SDLP councillor Malachy Quinn said the council's policy is "not stopping anyone having bonfire".

"The sign is very disappointing but not surprising when you see the fear that is being whipped up by the DUP and others in unionism.

"This policy is not stopping anyone having bonfire but it aims to remove the sectarianism that can be associated with them, and also it's about looking after the health of those building and attending bonfires."

There are eight bonfires held on council land across the district.

According to a council report, the local authority spent more than £17,500 clearing up pyre sites in June and July last year.

Meanwhile Sinn Fein's Mid-Ulster MP, Francie Molloy has called on Unionist politicans to condemn the erection of such signage.

"Measures to prevent hate crimes and prohibit the burning of toxic substances are basic common sense and should be welcomed. Instead, political unionism has responded with bizzare and irrational hostility," he said.

"Now we have the erection of this threatening slogan in Mid-Ulster. This is a blatant hate crime and an attempt to intimidate.

"Political unionism has a responsibility to condemn threats of this nature, and make it clear intimidation of local citizens and their representatives will not be tolerated. I am calling on unionist representatives to publicly condemn this act of intimidation.

"Sinn Féin respect and defend the right of communities to celebrate their culture in a respectful, dignified and safe manner. This cannot however involve the tolerance of hate crime or the burning of toxic materials."

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