Sinn Féin councillor Paul Fleming has said the burning of election posters on loyalist bonfires is a hate crime.
Speaking after election posters of Sinn Féin councillors from Derry appeared on a loyalist bonfire at Lanark Way in Belfast, councillor Fleming questioned the validity of the claim made by he Orange Order and unionist politicians that bonfires are an expression of cultural.
“Posters from the recent election featuring myself and my party colleagues Martina Anderson, Kevin Campbell, Mickey Cooper, Liam Friel as well as Belfast councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir have been placed on a loyalist bonfire at Lanark Way in west Belfast.
“A poster of my party colleague Patricia Logue has also been placed on a bonfire in Derry.
“Sinn Féin is strongly opposed to the burning of election posters on bonfires.
“These are hate crimes against sections of our community and should be treated as such.”
Colr. Fleming added: “The Orange Order and unionist politicians claim these bonfires are expressions of culture and should be welcoming for families but there is little evidence of that.
“We need to see strong voices and leadership from political unionism in order to see that these despicable practices are stopped.”