Northern Ireland news

Sinister Irish Sea border posters condemned

Loyalist placards in Ballynahinch, Co Down. Picture by Mal McCann.
Connla Young

POLICE have faced calls to take down sinister posters which appear to threaten violence over the Irish Sea border.

The chilling warnings depicting a masked man holding a gun have been put up in towns across the north in recent weeks.

The message reads: "Our forefathers fought for our freedom and rights. No border in the sea or we continue the fight."

Police said last night they are "working with local communities to have them removed as quickly as possible".

They are the latest in a series of threatening posters and graffiti to appear across the north amid tensions over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Signs have appeared in the Co Down towns of Kilkeel, Ballynahinch and Banbridge in recent days.

It is understood that similar posters have also been erected in Cookstown, Co Tyrone.

SDLP Policing Board member Dolores Kelly last night said the signs should be removed.

"There's a precedent for the police having taken action," she said.

"I think they should be taken down and removed, the vast majority of people don't want them.

"It's not as if it's about consent, it's about upping the temperature and trying to provoke a reaction.

"There's an established precedent - for the police to do nothing is not enough."

Mrs Kelly added: "The only fight loyalist paramilitaries engaged in was sectarian murders.

"And who are they going to fight? The British government?

"Because that's who brought the in the protocol and the DUP."

Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Alliance councillor Eóin Tennyson also condemned the posters.

“Those behind these sinister posters have nothing to offer our community but to inflame tensions, intimidate residents and sow further division," he said.

"They progress no other political aim.

“The overt threats displayed in the posters are disgusting, totally unacceptable and must be condemned by all right-thinking people.

"There is no place for this in Banbridge or anywhere else."

Mr Tennyson said he has raised the posters with the PSNI.

A police spokesman said last night they were "aware of reports of posters being erected in in a number of locations".

"Whilst understanding there have been a number of posters highlighting dissatisfaction with current EU exit arrangements, posters showing armed gunmen aren’t acceptable in any community and, therefore, we are working with local communities to have them removed as quickly as possible."

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