Northern Ireland news

Soldier F banner removed in Co Armagh

A 'Soldier F' banner similar to this one was removed by officials in Lurgan on Saturday after it partially fell. Picture by Armagh i.
Connla Young

Infrastructure chiefs are facing calls to carry out a safety review after a controversial ‘Soldier F’ banner was removed by officials at the weekend.

SDLP assembly member Dolores Kelly made the call after the banner at High Street in Lurgan partially fell on Saturday.

Police last night said they are investigating a report that a vehicle was damaged by wires hanging from the banner.

A spokeswoman said it was a "health and safety issue" and that the Department for Infrastructure (DFI) removed the banner.

‘Soldier F’ banners have been put up in loyalist districts across the north in support of a British soldier accused of killing two men on Bloody Sunday in Derry in 1972.

In some areas they have been tied to lampposts and hung across public roads.

Ms Kelly last night said that with bad weather being predicted DFI officials should now instigate a safety review.

“They should now be reviewing all of them,” she said.

“Given that stormy weather is predicted and we are coming into the winter.

“Who is liable if they damage cars?”

PSNI Chief Inspector Barney O'Connor said: "Police received a number of reports on Saturday September 21 about a banner erected on High Street in Lurgan that had come loose and was causing an obstruction.

"We are investigating a report that a vehicle was damaged by wires hanging from the banner.

"To ensure public safety, the banner was subsequently removed.

"Police were present during the removal process to ensure drivers were kept safe.”

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