Northern Ireland news

Doug Beattie calls for removal of Moygashel UVF banner

The UVF banners in Moygashel, Co Tyrone

SENIOR Ulster Unionist Doug Beattie has described banners glorifying a UVF killer as "crass" and said they should be removed.

The banners in Moygashel, Co Tyrone dedicated to Wesley Somerville and the Mid Ulster UVF have been condemned by victims of loyalists.

Last week Frank McGirr (64) was arrested by police close to the banners with a ladder nearby.

Police said he was arrested "to prevent a breach of the peace" and was released a short time later, amid criticism of a lack of action against those erecting such material.

His arrest was filmed and posted on social media, with voices in the background heard shouting abuse at the Co Tyrone man, whose brother Colm McGirr was shot dead by the SAS in 1983.

A similar banner put up in Moygashel last year was later taken down in broad daylight.


Somerville was killed along with fellow loyalist Harris Boyle as they placed a bomb on a minibus carrying the Miami Showband near Banbridge in Co Down in July 1975.

Other members of the gang then opened fire, killing three members and wounding two others.

Victims of the Glenanne Gang, of which Somerville was a senior member, have said they are deeply hurt by the banner which should be removed.

Mr Beattie, a former British soldier, added his voice to the condemnation.

He said: "Everyone has a right to remember their dead but theses banners are crass, hurtful to the victims and plainly wrong.

"They should be taken down."

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