Kearney condemns Antrim bonfire as anti-community and anti-republican
Sinn Féin South Antrim MLA, Declan Kearney has condemned a rogue 9th August bonfire as being anti-community, anti-republican, and against the expressed wishes of the local community.
Mr Kearney said:
“The so called anti-interment bonfire held in the Rathenraw Industrial Estate in Antrim had nothing whatsoever to do with the legacy of internment. It was anti-republican, and did not celebrate any aspect of Irish national identity or cultural traditions.
“The individuals responsible for this rogue bonfire were environmental vandals masquerading as republicans. Their unwanted behaviour was a disgraceful exploitation of internment's legacy in this society, which resulted in the incarceration without trial of hundreds, including men from this area; as well as those who were tortured and also killed due to the associated British Army operation.
“Despite a clear rejection of this rogue bonfire by residents in the nearby Rathenraw estate, the antisocial element responsible went ahead with their act of wanton vandalism. While this bonfire may have been hurriedly thrown together and burned within a 12 hour period, the associated anti-social behaviour was inexcusable.
“I also consider the simultaneous erection of Irish national flags in the Rathenraw estate, and at the entrance to the new Ballyveigh housing development to be a disgrace. This recreational abuse and misuse of the national flag is an insult to the Irish national identity and republicanism. These flags, along with all other inappropriate and provocative flag displays in Antrim town should be removed immediately.”