Northern Ireland news

Appeal for the return of plaque commemorating Belfast Blitz

The plaque at the former Belfast Telegraph building has been removed. Picture by Hugh Russell

THE owners of the former Belfast Telegraph building have appealed for information on the whereabouts of a plaque commemorating the Blitz, which is believed to have been stolen.

It is understood that vandals removed the plaque from the building on Royal Avenue in recent days.

The small plate had been screwed into the wall at the front of the former newspaper headquarters.

The inscription read: "The scars on this stone were caused in the German air raids of the Second World War.

"Despite severe damage to building, the Belfast Telegraph was published without interruption."

Less than two weeks after the 80th anniversary of the Belfast Blitz, the plaque has disappeared.

Bel Tel LLP said it had reported the theft to police.

"We are disappointed and saddened that the plaque commemorating the Belfast Blitz has been taken from the Belfast Telegraph building," a spokesman said.

"The Blitz was a very tragic part of our city's history and the plaque on one of its most iconic buildings was an important recognition of all those who lost their lives during that event.

"We have reported this theft and we would urge anyone with information to contact the police."

The small plate had been screwed into the wall at the front of the former newspaper headquarters

A post on the Belfast Telegraph Old Friends page on Facebook earlier this week expressed disappointment that it appeared the plaque had been removed.

"This sign was firmly secured to the wall beside some of the blitz damage and was of interest to both locals and tourists as they passed by," it read.

"As an integral part of the building, which I believe is listed, it must surely have remained in place.

"Very disappointed to see that this part of our Second World War history has been taken."

Police have said they "have been made aware and are making enquiries".

* This article was amended on April 29 2021

The small plate had been screwed into the wall at the front of the former newspaper headquarters. Picture by Hugh Russell

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