Two charged over cenotaph attack
Tuesday, 13 May 2014
TWO men will appear in court next month charged with vandalising the war memorial in Newry over the weekend in an attack that has been described as reckless and insensitive.
A 42-year-old man and 20-year-old man were arrested by police at around 12.20am on Sunday morning after being observed on city centre CCTV cameras throwing wreaths and crosses from the cenotaph at Bank Parade into Newry Canal.
The 20-year-old man was charged with disorderly behaviour and criminal damage while the 42-year-old was charged with criminal damage, disorderly behaviour, obstructing police and indecent behaviour.
They will both appear before Newry Magistrates Court on June 4.
Commenting on the incident, Newry MP Conor Murphy said the the relationship between the Nationalist and Unionist communities in Newry is very good and must be maintained and enhanced.
He added: "The vandalism of any memorial to the dead is not acceptable. The two men who threw wreaths into the river early on Sunday morning have shown little regard for those whom the cenotaph in Newry commemorates or their loved ones. Attacks like this have no place in our society."
SDLP MLA Dominic Bradley said the vandalism was reckless and insensitive.
He added: "I am sure the whole community will join me in condemning the reckless and insensitive attack on the war memorial in Newry.
“Those behind this attack have shown a total lack of respect for the memorial by damaging wreaths and crosses.
“This kind of behaviour defies belief at a time when we should all be working to improve community relations. I have no doubt this attack will be condemned by all right thinking people."
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