September 25, 2022

Poppy wreaths on Bogside internment bonfire called ‘shameful’

Before the Meenan Square bonfire in the Bogside area was lit, DUP MP Gary Middleton said: ‘Once again poppy wreath theft and contempt.

“It is shameful and utterly insulting to those who fought and died for all of our freedoms. As a society, we need to move away from blatant and intentional acts of disrespect and hurt.

Alongside the poppy wreaths, numerous Loyalist, Union flags and Parachute Regiment crests appeared.

Young boys lay down a Union Flag bearing the Queen’s face over a bonfire before it is lit to mark the Catholic feast of the Assumption in the Bogside area of ​​Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Picture date: Monday August 15, 2022.

SDLP Councilor John Boyle said the bonfire display did not represent the local community.

“The placement of these pictures and flags on the bonfire in Derry is shameful and I condemn it in the strongest possible terms,” ​​he said.

“Those who started this bonfire do not speak for the people of the Bogside who want to live in peace with their neighbors.”

Foyle Alliance Representative Councilor Rachael Ferguson called for items such as flags, poppy wreaths and other symbols to be removed from the bonfire in the Bogside.

People view a bonfire before it is lit to mark the Catholic feast of the Assumption in the Bogside area of ​​Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Picture date: Monday August 15, 2022.

“Despite their controversy, I understand that some people want to celebrate and commemorate with bonfires,” Ms Ferguson said.

“But this bonfire has already drawn disappointing and sectarian protests and it is sad to see that this year is no different.

“I totally condemn the placement of these items on this bonfire.

“It also marks the latest in an incredibly horrific period of hatred and bigotry, including the sale of Parachute Regiment flags in this city.

People view a bonfire before it is lit to mark the Catholic feast of the Assumption in the Bogside area of ​​Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Picture date: Monday August 15, 2022.

“The people behind this bonfire do not speak for the vast majority of Bogside residents and I call on them to remove these symbols.”

She added: “We can’t move forward if some are just constantly poking each other in the eye at every opportunity.”