Northern Ireland news

Play park banner describing IRA hunger striker Raymond McCreesh as 'our hero' condemned as 'sick' by unionist councillor

The banner has been erected in the children's play park in Newry which is named after Raymond McCreesh. Picture by Mal McCann
John Monaghan

A BANNER describing IRA hunger striker Raymond McCreesh as "our hero" has been condemned as "sick" by a unionist councillor after it was erected in a children's play park in Newry.

The banner, along with tricolours, has appeared at the Raymond McCreesh park, the name of which was retained in 2015 amidst a council row.

The name of the play park has been the subject of intense political and legal wrangling over the last decade, with a unionist motion to rename it rejected in December last year.

When arrested in 1976, McCreesh was reportedly in possession of a rifle used in the Kingsmill Massacre, in which ten Protestant men were murdered as they were returning from work. McCreesh died on hunger strike in 1981.

UUP councillor David Taylor said: "The banner on display at the children's play park is sick. It is a deliberate insult directed at McCreesh's victims, their long suffering families and an insult to the memory of those murdered and injured in the Kingsmill massacre."

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Northern Ireland news