Michelle Gildernew expresses disgust at effigy
The effigy of the former Agriculture Minister was placed on the bonfire in Moygashel last night along with an Irish tricolour flag and a sign which read ‘Sinn Féin scum hands off our culture.’ The sign also read that a 'public hanging' of the effigy would take place at 10.30pm.
Gildernew described the effigy as a ‘disgusting display of bigoted sectarianism’ and called on Unionist leaders to take action on the issue of Nationalist symbols being burned on bonfires.
“When are we going to see some courageous leadership from political unionism and the Orange Order when it comes to this hate filled practice of burning of effigies, flags and election posters on bonfires?” she said.
"These are hate crimes and should be rigorously investigated as such by the PSNI. It is unacceptable for the PSNI to hide behind the stock response that they need community support in order to tackle these types of crimes.”
“It’s time they stopped facilitating the litany of lawbreaking associated with the annual bonfire season.”
“If the Orange Order and political unionism are sincere about wanting nationalists to respect their culture then they need to address the ‘bigotfest’ that bonfires have become.”