Northern Ireland news


Billy Wright Irish Sea border posters condemned

Loyalists opposed to an Irish Sea Border have put up posters bearing the image of Billy Wright in Dungannon, Co Tyrone
Connla Young

The appearance of loyalist anti-Irish Sea border posters in Co Tyrone bearing the image of sectarian killer Billy Wright have been condemned.

The offensive posters have been placed on lampposts in the Milltown area of Dungannon and include a picture of the Portadown loyalist along with the words "Billy was Wright - No Irish Sea Border".

It is understood similar posters have also been put up in other districts including the town centre.

A former UVF commander in Mid Ulster, Wright went on to establish the LVF.

His units are believed to have been responsible for the sectarian murder of dozens of Catholics in the Mid Ulster area during the Troubles.

The LVF was also responsible for the murder of Sunday World journalist Martin O'Hagan in September 2001.

The suspected British agent was shot dead inside the H-Blocks by the INLA in 1997.

Tensions around the Irish Sea Border were are their height earlier this year when violence broke out in several loyalist areas across the north.

Some loyalists later took part in a series of peaceful, unnotified protests opposing the Northern Ireland Protocol, which effectively created a border down the Irish Sea.

The use of Wright's image on anti-Irish Sea border posters has created concern.

Mid Ulster SDLP councillor Malachy Quinn last night questioned the use of image.

"It's alright to be opposed to an Irish Sea Border, a legitimate position," he said.

"But when you are putting up posters of loyalist murderers and telling us he was right, what message are you sending out?

"Was he right about sectarian murders, what about murdering journalists, threatening journalists, was he right about his naked sectarianism?

"What message are these posters sending out to the whole community?

"I am disgusted with it.

"I absolutely condemn the posters."

UUP councillor Walter Cuddy said "political posters" have been put up across the town.

The councillor said Dungannon is a "multi-cultural town" and called for all posters to be taken down.

"We have to move on and do what is right for future generations," he said.

"They are raw on people on both sides.

"I would like to see the people who put them up take them down."

There was controversy last year when flags glorifying Wright were hung from lampposts on the main road into Dungannon from the M1 motorway.

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