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Republican politician to sue his own council after his effigy is burned on loyalist Twelfth bonfire - The Irish News
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Republican politician to sue his own council after his effigy is burned on loyalist Twelfth bonfire

Padraig McShane to take legal action over 'hate effigy' bonfire display

A HIGH profile republican councillor is set to sue his own local authority after his effigy was burned by loyalists on a bonfire on council property.

Independent councillor Padraig McShane took the action after Causeway Coast and Glens council admitted the pyre, in Bushmills, Co Antrim, was placed on the boundary of land owned by it.

The revelation follows anger over offensive displays on other loyalist bonfires, including one at the centre of a police hate crime investigation.

A stuffed effigy bearing the face of councillor McShane was placed on the bonfire in July while a crosshair was also painted on the head along with the words "Padraig McShane army council".

Effigies of Derry and Strabane independent councillor Gary Donnelly and Palestinian representative Mohammed Al-Halabi, who visited the north coast earlier this year, also featured.

Loyalists were attempting to recreate a controversial photograph taken during a visit by the Palestinian official to the Causeway council's HQ in Coleraine earlier this year.

The picture, which sparked anger among unionists, showed the councillors with Mr Al-Halabi along with a Palestinian flag and tricolour draped over a table in the council chamber.

Mr McShane, a former Sinn Féin councillor, last night declined to comment but said that he was “deeply shocked by the whole affair”.

His solicitor Michael Brentnall confirmed legal proceedings were being taken amid claims the council had been negligent.

A spokeswoman for the council said it “is not in a position to comment at this time”.

“The matter is subject to a legal issue and is currently being investigated,” she said.

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