SOUTH Londonderry and East Tyrone Ulster Political Research Group, an advisory body connected to the UDA, has called for the removal of the memorial plaque to two murdered Sinn Fein Councillors in the lobby of Magherafelt District Council.
Loyalists are threatening to stage a mass protest outside the council offices at Ballyronan Road to demand the plaque to John Joe Davey and Bernard O’Hagan is taken down.
Earlier this month Victims campaigner Willie Frazer was barred from attending a meeting of the council to voice his concerns about the plaque.
In a statement the UPRG said the decision by the council to erect a controversial plaque in a public building “can only be viewed as blatant harassment towards one section of the community.”
It continued: “Readers do not need reminded of the devastation caused every time the IRA detonated a bomb in Magherafelt or indeed the funerals they walked behind every time the IRA succeeded in murdering someone so we must all demand that anything remotely glorifying such acts is removed from what should be a neutral environment.
“John Davey and Bernard OHagan were Sinn Fein members and so are inextricably linked to the IRA, the same IRA that murdered many in our community. The erection of this plaque honouring these two individuals has the purpose and effect of violating the dignity of those effected by the murderous IRA campaign and so creating for them an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating and offensive environment.
“This type of harassment cannot be justified and in our opinion and that of the European Convention on Human Rights it is unlawful.” The UPRG claimed anger within the community over “this glorification to IRA terror is palapable” and so it is understandable that people wish to protest against it.
“We in the UPRG will always support the local community and their right to peaceful protest but would firstly like to go on public record by demanding that the Council remove the plaque immediately so that the Council offices are made neutral.”