Northern Ireland news

Co Tyrone hunger strike anniversary placard removed

The scene yesterday after the placard was removed. Picture by Mal McCann.
Connla Young

A PLACARD put up at a roadside in Co Tyrone to mark the 40th anniversary of the hunger strike has been removed.

The laminated board is one of a number erected across the north by Sinn Féin to mark the anniversary of the 1981 protest.

Earlier this week Sinn Féin councillor Dominic Molloy said the sign, which was attached to a 30mph road sign on the outskirts of the Moy, would not be taken down.

It is understood the placard was later removed although Mr Molloy said Sinn Féin was not responsible.

A spokeswoman for the PSNI last night said it "did not removed any posters in the Moy area and we have not received any reports of posters being removed".

A spokesman for the Department for Infrastructure (DfI), which earlier this week said "the attachment of any signs or flags to departmental property is an offence under the Roads (NI) Order 1993," last night added it was not responsible.

“A hunger strike commemoration sign put up recently on the outskirts of Moy was not removed by DfI,” he said.

Complaints about the placard had been raised by MLA Rosemary Barton.

The UUP assembly member said: "To have this sign erected as an ‘in your face’ cruel act is nothing less than intimidation of the unionist community and all those who suffered at the hands of terrorists."

Mr Molloy last night said the sign did not pose a threat.

"It's disappointing that there's no tolerance to let it stay there when it's not a threat or annoying anybody," he said.

"It's indicative of the tolerance level to everything connected with Irishness."

Asked kf the sign will be replaced Mr Molloy added: "I will leave it to party members locally to decide whether to replace it or not."

Monday marked four decades since the start of the H-Block hunger strike when Bobby Sands refused food in the Maze Prison.

A total of ten IRA and INLA prisoners went on to die during the fast for political status.

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