McGuinness bonfire coffin effigy ‘vile’ - Sinn Fein

The effigy placed on the bonfire at Clonduff Road in East Belfast. (Photo: P/A)
The effigy placed on the bonfire at Clonduff Road in East Belfast. (Photo: P/A)

Sinn Fein have called on Unionists leaders to condemn “hatemongers” who put an effigy of Martin McGuinness’ coffin on a bonfire in Belfast last night with the message ‘F*** the IRA’ painted on it.

Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney said the mock coffin bearing the image of Martin McGuinness on the East Belfast bonfire was the latest in a series of vile sectarian displays over recent weeks.

“This display is a particularly sickening manifestation of the hate we have witnessed across the North over recent days, including some of the most vile sectarian and racist abuse,” Mr Kearney said.

The South Antrim MLA added: “This is the action of hatemongers intent on indoctrinating bigotry and perpetuating sectarian divisions in our society.

“Their behaviour stands in stark contrast to the work that Martin McGuinness did to build reconciliation and reach out the hand of friendship.

“It is also grossly insulting to the McGuinness family which still mourns the loss of a much loved father, brother and grandfather.”

Declan Kearney with the then Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness back in 2015.

Declan Kearney with the then Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness back in 2015.

Martin McGuinness’ son Emmett meanwhile Tweeted yesterday evening: “I am very thankful that I was raised by parent’s never to hate anyone or anything. @moneillsf is right, the annual display of hate must end.”

Calling on unionist leaders to condemn the display meanwhile, Mr Kearney added:

“It is simply unacceptable that unionist political parties still refuse to condemn this kind of hate crime.

“Rather than supporting these so-called celebrations and, in some cases, posing for photos as they light the bonfires, it is long past time that political unionism showed some leadership and called for an immediate end to these sickening displays.

“I am directly challenging the leaders of all unionists parties to immediately disassociate themselves and their parties from this and other examples of sectarian hate crime.”