Northern Ireland news

Son of Martin McGuinness said he was not brought up to hate as'coffin' effigy placed on bonfire

An effigy of former deputy first minister Martin McGuinness on a bonfire on Clonduff Road in east Belfast. Picture by Press Association

PEOPLE who placed a black coffin emblazoned with the face of the late Sinn Féin MLA and deputy first minister Martin McGuinness on an east Belfast bonfire are "hatemongers" an MLA has said.

The coffin was placed on the side of a pyre on Clonduff Drive, off the Castlereagh Road.

Mr McGuinness died in March at the age of 66 following an illness.

His son Emmett tweeted on Tuesday night: "I am very thankful that I was raised by parents never to hate anyone or anything. @moneillsf is right, the annual display of hate must end."

Sinn Féin South Antrim MLA Declan Kearney called on unionist politicians to condemn the effigy.

"This is the action of hatemongers intent on indoctrinating bigotry and perpetuating sectarian divisions in our society," he said.

He added: "It is also grossly insulting to the McGuinness family which still mourns the loss of a much loved father, brother and grandfather."

Mr Kearney said unionists must show "leadership" and call "for an immediate end to these sickening displays".

Meanwhile, John Finucane, a Sinn Féin candidate for North Belfast in last month's general election, said he has contacted police after some of his campaign posters were fixed to a bonfire.

The solicitor, a son of loyalist murder victim Pat Finucane, said he has "reported this hate crime & theft to PSNI to allow them to act urgently".

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news