PFNI says bonfire is teaching children hate
The Police Federation for Northern Ireland (PFNI) says naming murdered police officer, Ronan Kerr, on a bonfire in Londonderry is a deep insult to his memory and an appalling indictment of some sections of our society .
Constable Kerr, and serving officers, were named on the bonfire in the Bogside erected to mark the Feast of the Assumption.
PFNI Chair, Mark Lindsay MBE, said: “This is clearly a hate crime. It is designed to intimidate and is deeply insulting to the vast majority of our society who support policing.
“We have seen a trend where bonfires on both sides of our community become vehicle for hate messages. This has to stop and those in positions of responsibility need to work to eradicate this abhorrent practice.
“Those who attach these stomach-churning posters really are devoid of any shred of decency. Society needs to realise that older more influential people are passing on their hatred and vile actions to impressionable children who are often seen helping at bonfire sites. Put simply, they are teaching children to hate which is particularly abhorrent and reprehensible.
“It’s also worth reminding those responsible for the Galliagh bonfire, that the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is an occasion to be marked with solemnity, respect and love for one another and not this anti-Christian and irrational hatred of fellow human beings who work to safeguard people and make Northern Ireland a better place for all of us.”