Adams reports bonfire 'lynched figure'

Published Friday, 11 July 2014
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Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has said he asked his solicitor to report a "lynched figure" on a bonfire at Ballycraigy in Antrim as a hate crime.

Adams reports bonfire 'lynched figure'
The bonfire at Ballycraigy in Antrim. (© Pacemaker)

It comes after a picture of the effigy with a reference to Mr Adams was posted on the Facebook page for the bonfire on Friday.

The party leader has asked his solicitor to report it to the PSNI as a hate crime and he has called on the Orange Order and Facebook to ensure its "immediate removal."

The former west Belfast MP has described the move as "deeply offensive and a clear hate crime by those responsible".

"The Orange Order claims that bonfires are an important part of protestant culture and should be welcoming to families," he said.

"What happens at Orange events is clearly the responsibility of the Orange Order.

"The figure of a lynch victim on a bonfire is not a welcoming sight for anyone. This is a disturbing escalation of sectarian and hate crime.

"The Orange Order must take immediate steps to have it removed."

Reacting to Mr Adam's comments, an Orange Order spokesman said: "The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland does not organise bonfires; however, we would urge those involved to act responsibly."

Police are aware of numerous items, some of which can only be described as distasteful, that have been placed on bonfires in a number of parts of Northern Ireland. Police are liaising with local community representatives in relation to these incidents.


There was political condemnation earlier in the week after election posters of Alliance's Anna Lo and Sinn Féin's Martina Anderson were put on bonfires.

Reacting to news that that further posters have appeared, SDLP Belfast Councillor Kate Mullan said that the action "only underlines the deep rooted tensions that exist in our society".

"Over the last number of it has been shocking to see the posters of political representatives appear on bonfires. Burning political posters cannot be seen as an expression of anyone's culture," she said.

"I would call on the PSNI, unionist political and community representatives to use their influence to ensure all posters are removed from bonfires."

While Alliance Belfast Councillor Laura McNamee has condemned those responsible for an offensive banner about her colleague Anna Lo that appeared on a bonfire in Orangefield Park in east Belfast.

"I am appalled by those responsible for this racist banner that has been placed on this bonfire. I am deeply offended that my Alliance Party colleague and indeed members of other political parties, have been targeted in this manner.

"I hope this banner is removed before it is set on fire. This is a hate crime which is grossly disrespectful to a hard-working elected representative who seeks to represent all sections of our community."

Bonfires are lit on the eve of the Twelfth of July, ahead of the main day of Orange parades to mark the anniversary of the Battle of Boyne.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Ryan in An Dun wrote (201 days ago):
@ John In Armagh. The word hypocrite springs to mind. If your going to condemn a part of the community for doing something at least have a bit off common sense. Wake up to yourself john and smell the coffee. Is it ok to burn one flag but not another? Why comment if your going to contradict yourself? You may see it as a foreign flag but I don't. I see too many foreign flags hanging from lamp posts throughout the north and will soon be in tatters as the people that litter the place with them simply don't care enough to take them down afterwards. But sure that's "your" culture John.
John Watson in Creggan wrote (201 days ago):
@jo in Newtonards You where doing well Jo up until "people who have chosen to live in Northern Ireland" Jo your comment highlights the complete lack of understanding Unionists have regarding their Irish neighbours. We had no choice in the matter Jo, the UK came to us we didn't move to the UK. My Irish ancestry predated the Plantation by hundreds of years, My family where clan chiefs, I'm also immensely proud of my Scottish Presbyterian ancestry as you might gather from my moniker. Jo if there was a united Ireland tomorrow would you leave your homeland to move to GB? Really? Jo I've lived & worked in GB, always made welcome, never felt uncomfortable unlike Northern Ireland.
Marty in North belfast wrote (202 days ago):
Michael from belfast , you are not speaking for anyone when you say only a few hundred idiots attend 9th August bonfires I am a nationalist from north belfast and I go to 1 on the falls attended by a few thousand , and the reason they were trying to stop them is cause sinnfien got money from the British government to stop them . Traitors that's what they are . As I say I'm a nationalist from north belfast ,,,, not a leisure centre in a nationalist area plenty on the falls and the shankill the British government are looking after you with the money for your festival ardoyne have to pay for their own . I'm sure west belfast will hope a United Ireland never comes about ,,,,,,,, SHAME ON YOU
M in Belfast wrote (202 days ago):
John in Armagh , you could of saved yourself a bit of time on that last post and simply wrote. "My name is john and I'm a bigoted hate the world"
John Watson in Creggan wrote (202 days ago):
@john in Co.Armagh So why did you waste time commenting on the burning of Union flags in the 1st place? Many Nationalists see the Union flag as foreign & burn it. I do not condone this practice. As my 1st comment stated if you burn ours so we burn yours is OK and rational why gurn about it?
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