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Police appeal over criminal damage to murdered UDR man’s memorial

Police in Newtownhamilton are appealing for information after damage was caused to a memorial plaque in south Armagh.

A PSNI spokesperson said the criminal damage happened during the early hours of yesterday, Sunday, May 10, on the Ballymoyer Road at the junction of Ballymoyer Lane.

“We would like to hear from anyone who has information in relation to this incident,” he said. “We can be contacted in Newtownhamilton on 101, quoting ref: 557 100515.”

The memorial had been erected to UDR Lance Corporal David John Bell, who was murdered by the IRA 40 years ago.

Newry and Armagh Ulster Unionist MLA Danny Kennedy condemned those responsible.

He expressed his disgust at “an act of vandalism on a memorial erected for an off duty soldier murdered by IRA terrorists in South Armagh in 1975”.

Mr Kennedy said: “This act of wanton vandalism is another disgraceful attack against innocent victims of terrorism in South Armagh.

“It is very upsetting for Mr Harry Bell MBE , the only surviving family member and brother of Johnny Bell, who was shot and murdered driving home from his place of work by the IRA on 6 November 1975.

“It seems that 40 years later, there is an element of society which cannot bear to be reminded of the murderous past of republicans in this part of Northern Ireland. They will not succeed.

“The memorial to Ulster Defence Regiment L/Corporal David John Bell will be repaired. We will remember with gratitude brave men like Johnny Bell, and the sacrifice they made to keep the entire community safe and free.”

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