Northern Ireland news

Missing Belfast Blitz plaque found

Andrew Garrett with the Second World War plaque from the Belfast Telegraph. Picture by Hugh Russell

A PLAQUE commemorating the Belfast Blitz, which is believed to have been stolen, has been handed in to The Irish News.

The small plate had been screwed onto the wall at the front of the former Belfast Telegraph building.

Less than two weeks after the 80th anniversary of the Blitz was commemorated, the sign disappeared.

The building's owners, Bel Tel LLP, reported the apparent theft to police and appealed for its return.

Yesterday, the missing panel was left at the Maverick bar, which was open for the first time since lockdown restrictions were eased.

Bar manager Andrew Garrett said a customer claimed to have found it earlier in the week.

"An older man came in and asked for a table. We seated him and got him his drink," he said.

"As he was leaving, he called me over and mumbled something about the plaque and said he found it at the bottom of the Shankill Road. He set it down, asked us to bring it over to The Irish News for him, and he then left.

"He said he didn't want a reward or acknowledgement, he just wanted it to be returned."

Bel Tel LLP last night said it was delighted that the plaque had been found after its appeal.

"The plaque is an important recognition of all those who lost their lives at that difficult time and we are looking forward to it being restored to its rightful place on one of the city's most iconic buildings."

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Northern Ireland news