Northern Ireland

WW1 memorial damage being investigated as hate crime

A WW1 memorial has been vandalised in Ballymena. Picture: Rodney Quigley/Facebook
A WW1 memorial has been vandalised in Ballymena. Picture: Rodney Quigley/Facebook A WW1 memorial has been vandalised in Ballymena. Picture: Rodney Quigley/Facebook

DAMAGE caused to a First World War memorial in Co Antrim has been condemned as a "disgusting act of vandalism".

The 'Ghost Tommies' statues were pulled from the ground at Moat Road in Ballymena sometime overnight between Wednesday and Thursday, along with a wooden sign in the shape of a poppy.

They had been erected in 2021 as part of a tribute to men from Ballymena killed in the war.

A PSNI spokespwerson said the incident is being investigated as a hate crime and criminal damage.

"We believe a number of individuals may have been involved," they said.

"Our enquiries are continuing and I would appeal to anyone with any information, or who may have seen anyone in and around the area where the statues are located at the time of report, to contact police on 101."

Ballymena independent councillor Rodney Quigley said in a Facebook post the incident was an "absolutely discusting act of vandalism".

"This attack wasn't caused by individuals just passing by, it was a planned attack and great effort was used to cause maximum damage," he said.