Northern Ireland news

Wall poster threatening informers is 'open intimidation' says SDLP councillor

The poster, since removed, which appeared on the International Wall on the Falls Road earlier this week 
John Monaghan

AN SDLP councillor has described a poster in west Belfast threatening informers as "deeply sinister" and "open intimidation."

The image has since been removed from the 'International Wall' on the Falls Road.

The poster, which appeared frequently in republican areas during the Troubles, shows an IRA gunman beside the message "Loose talk costs lives".

"Whatever you say - say nothing," warns the image, which up until its removal covered part of a mural about ETA prisoners and Basque separatist leader Arnaldo Otegi.

SDLP Upper Falls councillor Tim Attwood said: "This is deeply sinister and open intimidation. There is a shadow of a gunman hanging over any person who 'talks'. It is an image and a message common years ago when it was no less offensive and malicious.

"For this message and this image to be replicated in this day and age is no less offensive or malicious, and those whom placed it should catch themselves on and remove it."

One social media user said the poster "needs put back where it belongs" and described it as "not something I would want my grandchildren to see."

However, others defended its appearance as "part of history."

One Facebook user wrote: "People need to understand what this is about. This wasn't put up to send any message out to anyone or a threat to anyone. Years ago they were put up in bars and clubs and street corners so it's part of history."

The appearance and removal of the poster came amidst rows over the murals on what is one of Belfast's best known tourist attractions.

An image of unionist leader Edward Carson and the Ulster Volunteers was paint-bombed yesterday - the second time in the last few weeks.

Last week The Irish News reported that threats had been made against artists working on the wall.

Former republican prisoner and leading mural artist Danny Devenny said he had been subjected to threats via social media, and scaffolding had been torn down.

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