Demands for removal of election posters from Magherafelt bonfires

Election poster on the Beechland Eleventh Night Bonfire in Magherafelt.
Election poster on the Beechland Eleventh Night Bonfire in Magherafelt.

Nationalist politicians are demanding the removal of election posters - including one showing the Sinn Fein chairperson of Magherafelt Council - from loyalist bonfires in the town.

Posters belonging to Kate McEldowney, party colleagues Sean McPeake and Martina Anderson as well as the SDLP’s Martin Kearney are on the Beechland bonfire due to be set alight tonight to celebrate the Twelfth of July.

Leckagh bonfire has posters of local Sinn Fein councillor Darren Totten and Alliance Party MLA Anna Lo.

Michael Kelly , who ran unsuccessfully as an Independent in the recent Mid-Ulster Council election, is calling for the posters to be removed.

Mr Kelly whose election poster is also on the Beechland bonfire, said “No doubt at various 12th demonstrations across the north speeches will be made advocating tolerance, respect, civil and religious liberties.

“I would ask leading local Orangemen, unionist politicians and community representatives do they think it’s acceptable to burn images of those from a different ethnic or religious persuasion on 11th night bonfires? It’s a simple yes or no answer.”

Sinn Fein council party leader, Sean McPeake these actions of placing posters on the bonfire shows loyalism for what it truly is, and that is intolerance and hatred for the nationalist and republican communities.

SDLP councillor Martin Kearney has expressed his disappointment.

He said: “I am very disappointed to hear that election posters have been placed on the bonfire. Over the past six months I have been trying to work for all within the local community.”