Poppy wreaths stolen and burned

Police in Derry are examining CCTV footage after a number of poppy wreaths were stolen from the cenotaph in the Diamond and set on fire at Free Derry Corner.

The PSNI have said two males in hooded tops we seen in the area shortly before 3am.

The incident has been widely condemned by local politicians.

Foyle DUP MLA Willie Hay said he was saddened by what happened. “It is difficult to understand the mind-set of anyone who would do this,” he said.

SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey also condemned the destruction of the wreaths. “Those that felt the need to destroy items left at the Memorial on Remembrance Day are contributing nothing to the tolerant society we are seeking to build,” he said.

Sinn Féin councillor Mickey Cooper said he hoped the attack would not lead to an increase of sectarian tensions. “There can be no place in our society for this kind of desecration or vandalism. It should not be used as an excuse by anyone to go out and do something similar or heighten tensions in any community.

“I am aware a number of wreaths were found in a nearby laneway and returned to the memorial by local community workers,” he said.

The PSNI have appealed for anyone with information on the attack to contact them.