Torching of Sinn Féin election poster was ‘hate crime’

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The torching of a Sinn Féin election billboard on the Lisnakelly roundabout in Limavady has been branded a “hate crime” by the party’s Westminster candidate in East Derry Dermot Nicholl.

The Greysteel man said the burning of the billboard, which urged electors to ‘know the value of your vote’, to register, and to vote for Sinn Féin, was deliberately designed to intimidate.

He said: “This act is an attack on democracy.

“It is an attempt to intimidate Sinn Féin activists and representatives from carrying out political activity and doing their best to help their community and constituents.

“The perpetrators however have failed to do this and our activists will continue to knock on doors every night as we have been doing in Limavady and right across this constituency.”

He added: “This incident has been reported to the police as a hate crime comparable to burning election posters on bonfires and must be condemned by all of the parties locally .”

Police appealed for witnesses following what it described as a report of criminal damage at the roundabout during the early hours of the morning, Monday.

Police received a report that the billboard, featuring an election poster, was set on fire. The billboard was destroyed as a result of the incident.

Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or anyone with any information that can assist with the investigation to contact officers in Limavady on 101 quoting reference number 47 of 08/05/17.

Alternatively information about crime can be passed via the independent Crimestoppers number on 0800 555 111.