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Republican plot desecrated

20 August, 2004

Sinn Féin Assembly member for Newry & Armagh Davy Hyland has spoken of his disgust and anger after the Republican plot in St. Mary's cemetery on the Warrenpoint Road in Newry was completely destroyed overnight.

Speaking from the scene Mr Hyland said;

" This morning local people were horrified to discover that the main Republican plot in St. Mary's cemetery in Newry has been completed destroyed overnight. Sledgehammers were obviously used to smash the headstones and also damage family items placed on the grave. Given the shear scale of the damage caused it is clear that those responsible came prepared and took their time in destroying the plot.

" Local Republicans are outraged at this attack on the graves of our friends and comrades who have given their lives in the pursuit of Irish Freedom. At this stage we do not know who was responsible for this outrage but suspicions will obviously be focused on local unionist paramilitaries or local criminals.

" Whoever is responsible they need to get a clear message that Republicans in Newry will not be intimidated by actions like this. We will rebuild this plot as quickly as possible and once again have it restoredas a fitting tribute to the Republican dead. My thoughts today are of course with the families of those buried in the plot who have had to come here this morning and witness this disgraceful scene."

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