Paint has been daubed over a memorial to the victims of the Kingsmills Massacre, in what police are treated as a ‘hate crime’.
The PSNI this afternoon issued an appeal for information following the incident of criminal damage in the Kingsmill Road area of Bessbrook.
Inspector Philip McCullough said: “Police received a report at around 4.15pm today, Saturday, February 7, that paint had been daubed on a memorial in the area.
“Police are treating this as a hate crime and are appealing to anyone who witnessed the incident or with information to contact officers at Ardmore Police Station on the non-emergency number 101. Or if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
Ten Protestant workers were killed in the Kingsmills Massacre in January 1976, when their minibus was ambushed and the colleagues taken off, line up and shot by republican paramilitaries.
Meanwhile, Sinn Féin MLA Mickey Brady has described the paint attack on the Kingsmills Memorial as “a criminal and disgraceful act”.
“It’s absolutely disgraceful that this type of criminal activity would happen,” he said. “I condemn it unreservedly.
“It doesn’t serve any purpose or cause, it doesn’t do anything only hurt those whose loved ones’this monument represents.”
Danny Kennedy, Ulster Unionist MLA for Newry and Armagh, and Councillor David Taylor, have also condemned the latest attack on the Kingsmills memorial.
Mr Kennedy said: “This is yet another sickening attack on a memorial dedicated to the memory of 10 innocent Protestants murdered when coming home from work.
“This will cause distress to the relatives and it has to be condemned. It is a hate crime and there should be no place in a decent society for this memorial to be damaged or violated. I would appeal for anyone who saw anything in the area to report it to the PSNI as soon as possible.”
Councillor David Taylor added: “This was not an act of mindless vandalism. This was a deliberately planned act, designed to cause maximum hurt and provocation. Not content with the Provisional IRA robbing families of ten innocent men, these cowards continue the harassment of the families. I want to hear republican leaders being very clear in their condemnation of this callous act and call on those in the know, to call the dogs off and report them to the police.”
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