Northern Ireland news

Banner torn down close to polling station

A man was scene removing a banner from a fence on the Crumlin Road and standing on it before putting it in the boot of his car

A BANNER aimed at Sinn Féin election candidate John Finucane was yesterday removed from outside a polling station in north Belfast.

The banner had been hung on a fence at the front door of the Amy Carmichael Centre at the Welcome Evangelical Church on Cambrai Street.

The Electoral Office said it was taken down.

Later yesterday morning, and a few hundred metres away, a man was seen tearing another banner down from a railings at the former Dunnes Stores site at the junction of Crumlin Road and Hillview Road.

Images showed the man bundling the banner into the boot of his car before he drove away.

It is not clear if that poster was also aimed at Mr Finucane.

In the lead up to the election, several loyalist banners were erected against Mr Finucane, while another targeted SDLP assembly member Claire Hanna.

Police said officers were examining whether those displays against the Westminster election candidates could constitute a "hate incident or hate crime".

One which appeared off west Belfast's Shankill Road attacked Mr Finucane and his family, including his father Pat Finucane who was murdered by loyalists in 1989.

At the time, Secretary of State Julian Smith condemned them as "utterly offensive".

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Northern Ireland news