DUP accused of grandstanding over hunger strike statue

The INLA statue in Derry City Cemetery.
Seamus McKinney

THE DUP has demanded the removal of a statue of an armed INLA man at the graves of hunger strikers Patsy O’Hara and Michael Devine at Derry City Cemetery.

Derry and Strabane district councillor Graham Warke voiced concerns during a discussion this week on possible tourism initiatives at the cemetery which is more than 100 years old.

The statue, which depicts a masked INLA man standing to attention with a rifle, is located at the top end of the cemetery, near the city’s Creggan. Mr Warke said Protestants were put off by what he described as a "10 ft statue of an armed terrorist" which he said Protestants found “offensive.”

Independent councillor Warren Robinson, who was involved in the erection of the statue in 2000, said it met with all the regulations and accused Mr Warke of attempting to grab headlines.

He said: “People have moved on and the dead within our shared cemetery should be allowed to rest in peace.”

Mr Warke’s comments were also criticised during a meeting of a council sub-committee by Sinn Féin's Elisha McCallion who accused the DUP member of “grandstanding.”

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