Journalist attacked at Divis bonfire

Published Thursday, 08 August 2013
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A female journalist has reported being attacked at the site of an anti-internment bonfire in west Belfast - where stolen loyalist artwork is believed to have been place on top of the structure.

Journalist attacked at Divis bonfire
Bonfires will be lit to commemorate internment. (© UTV)

Allison Morris from the Irish News took to Twitter on Thursday to speak out about being attacked with bottles in the Divis area.

"Tourists looking on shocked," she said, adding that some of those involved were grown men and that they had been drunk and abusive.

Sinn Féin West Belfast MP Paul Maskey also addressed the episode on Twitter.

"The attack on a journalist from the so-called guardians of the Divis bonfire is a disgrace. They are celebrating nothing but disrespect," he said.

Meanwhile, it is understood that the stolen artwork was taken from the Linfield Road area of south Belfast at about 11.45pm on Wednesday evening, before turning up on the Divis bonfire.

A local community representative told UTV there were concerns that tensions would be heightened.

"It wasn't a sectarian mural - it was a cultural mural that a young person in the area did as a youth project," Sam Hillerby told UTV.

"When we came out of our houses and it was gone, it was quite upsetting. People want the police to actually go to the Divis site and get it because, at the end of the day, that is the police's job."

A PSNI spokesman said: "It is believed the stolen mural is currently on a bonfire in the Divis area, which has led to a number of concerns being raised by local residents.

"Police are currently engaging with local community representatives in both areas in an attempt to reduce tensions and resolve the issue."

Anti-internment bonfires are lit to commemorate the introduction of the detention without trial of republican suspects in the 1970s.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
66 Comments
Sam1690 in Ballysillan wrote (448 days ago):
@Gerard this is a full stop ".", in English this marks the end of one sentence and the beginning of another. Kindly read Willy's post and you will find one of them between the sentence about the internment parade and the one on the terrorist glorification parade in Castlederg. As for those Saying these people are not Nationalists or Republicans, well they are, and they only exist because of poor leadership from within YOUR community. We have them in our community too but coming on here ans 'slagging them off' doesn't help, people like them on both sides want that sort of reaction. The only way forward is to engage with them and bring them up to speed, rather than leaving them behind to fester more hatred.
Pol in Belfast wrote (448 days ago):
Sam in Mount... Reason why they have that is because He shows real leadership and will take the thug element on. He will condemn them when appropiate, and speak for the majority who have absolutely no time for the silly mirror image approach to OO / loyalist. Most involved in the bonfires are hoods and drug dealers. It may be acceptable in loyalist areas but not in ours. By the way.. Why are all these bonfires only in W/c areas.. Why not in m/c areas.
Vee in Belfast wrote (448 days ago):
Oh Grow Up The Lot of You!
Michael in Belfast wrote (448 days ago):
@Willy in Newtownabbey I think you will find the Internment Rally is not glorifying terrorists at all. Unlike the yearly loyalist parade in Coleriane glorifying 4 dead UVF terrorists and the the yearly loyalist parade in Belfast glorifying Brian Robionson, murdering UVF terrorist. Get your facts straight before you come on here posting your bigoted views. ALL TERRORISM FROM BOTH SIDE IS/WAS WRONG AND GLORIFYING IT BY BOTH SIDES IS WRONG. NOTICE THE WORDS BOTH SIDES!!!!!
Hello in Belfast wrote (448 days ago):
@R in Belfast, out of all the 41 comments on here most from a nationalist background you are the only one to mention that the artwork was stolen, thank you. Only a handful mention the attack on the journalist, I do hope that she is ok. Interesting also that Belfast telegraph, U.tv and BBC all mention it online. The only one I have checked online that doesn't is the Irish News! Was the reported not one of their employees? You think they would make it their top story online.
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