Northern Ireland news

Racist banner against Celtic's Scott Sinclair placed on Belfast bonfire

Brendan Hughes

A RACIST banner against Celtic footballer Scott Sinclair has been displayed on an east Belfast bonfire.

The banner was placed on a bonfire in the car park of Avoniel Leisure Centre.

A message on the banner read: "Scott Sinclair loves bananas."

The loyalist bonfire site is one of four that are subject to a High Court injunction secured by Belfast City Council.

The injunction was sought by the local authority last week in a bid to prevent further materials being added to the pyres.

Images of the racist banner have been widely circulated online.

The display had been removed from the pyre when The Irish News visited the site earlier.

Seamus Darragh (39), chairman of Celtic supporters' club Dicey Reilly's, condemned the bonfire display as "absolutely disgusting".

"No human being's colour of skin should ever be described in that manner. It's just despicable," the Belfast man said.

"It is absolutely disgusting of the highest order. How can they justify that being culture?

"It's nothing but downright racism. It's an absolute disgrace."

In a statement released this afternoon, the PSNI said it is investigating complaints about "various materials" placed on the bonfire.

"Where police are aware of a crime being committed, an investigation will follow," ths statement said.

"We take hate crime very seriously and actively investigate all incidents reported to us. Hate crime is wrong on all levels and the PSNI will do everything it can to ensure that everyone, from whatever background, can live free from prejudice, fear and discrimination."

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news