War memorial attack 'a hate crime'

The scene of the paint attack at the war memorial on Friday morning.

A paint attack on a war memorial in Glenavy, Co Antrim is being treated as a hate crime by police.

Friday, 16 November 2012
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Navy paint was thrown on all four sides of the Main Street memorial during the incident.

Investigating officers believe the attack happened in the early hours of Friday morning.

A number of poppy wreaths were also damaged.

South Antrim DUP MLA Trevor Clarke has spoken of his outrage and said the attack follows four previous incidents this year at the Glenavy Protestant Hall.

"This latest attack on the war memorial is not only an insult to the Protestant people of Glenavy, but to those who have sacrificed so much taking part in all campaigns," he said.

"It is less than a week since Remembrance Day, so this callous act shows a complete disregard for the servicemen and women remembered and indeed is in stark contrast to what our war heroes have achieved."

Lisburn SDLP councillor Pat Catney has also said he is disgusted at the paint-bombing.

"Just what do they think this is going to achieve? I can tell them - it will achieve nothing," he said.

"This will not stop the good work being carried out by political parties, community groups, and the police in a bid to properly tackle hate crime in the area."

Sinn Féin MLA Mitchel McLaughlin said that those responsible "bring nothing to society".

"Again we see small minded people putting their energies into attempting to divide society, rather than work with people to find common ground," he said.

"These people have been rejected by the people of Glenavy and have only succeeded in wasting people's time."

Police would like to speak to any witnesses.