Northern Ireland news

Brothers call for PSNI to take down Somerville banner

A banner in memory of UVF man Wesley Somerville has been put up in Co Tyrone
Connla Young

The family of a Catholic believed to have been murdered by UVF man Wesley Somerville have called for the PSNI to remove a banner in his memory.

Brian and Aidan Falls branded the poster which has been hung from a lamppost in Moygashel, outside Dungannon, as a “hate crime”.

Somerville is suspected of being part of a gang that shot their father Patrick Falls (45) at a pub at Aughamullan, near Coalisland, in November 1974.

A brother, John James Somerville, who died last year, was sentenced to life in 1981 for his part in the murder.

He was also convicted of murdering three members of the Miami Showband in July 1975.

A banner in memory of Wesley Somerville has been put up in recent weeks alongside another one glorifying the UVF.

It includes an image of two armed and masked men with the words: “Mid Ulster Brigade UVF, Moygashel. In memory of our fallen volunteers.”

Wesley Somerville died with fellow loyalist Harris Boyle as they placed a bomb on the minibus the Miami Showband were travelling in near Banbridge in Co Down.

Brian Falls and his brother described the banner as offensive.

“We believe the erection of the banner of mass murderer Wesley Somerville to be a hate crime, offensive and must be taken down immediately,” they said.

Mr Falls also said his family has “serious concerns” about comments by PSNI inspector Keith Jamieson suggesting a banner in memory of LVF founder Billy Wright in Dungannon would cause offence to some, but not others.

Asked about the Somerville poster, a spokesman for the PSNI said: “Police are not aware of a hate crime or incident reported to them in respect of this poster.”

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