Outrage at rocket launcher snowman

'HAVE AN EXPLOSIVE CHRISTMAS'... The window display at Junior McDaid House
'HAVE AN EXPLOSIVE CHRISTMAS'... The window display at Junior McDaid House

‘EXPLOSIVE CHRISTMAS’... The window display at Junior McDaid House in Derry’s Bogside.

The “decoration”, which appears in the front window of Junior McDaid House, Chamberlain Street - where the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association is based - also includes the message: “Wishing you an explosive Christmas”.

The building is also the headquarters of republican political party Saoradh and the youth group, Eistigi Doire.

It is named after IRA member James ‘Junior’ McDaid, who was shot dead by the British Army in December 1972.

Gregory Campbell, of the DUP, has described the window display as “highly offensive” and says it must be condemned by “all right-thinking people”.

“Most people look on Christmas as a family time and republicans are equating it with terrorism,” he said.

“An image of a snowman with a rocket launcher to mark the season of peace and goodwill borders on the obscene.

“Terrorism has already caused enough heartache in Northern Ireland without these people compounding the hurt.”

The East Derry MP said the painting would be “considered as propaganda by those behind it and their supporters, but I believe it will be seen in a poor light by everyone else”.

He said the display was following “in a long line of paramilitary-type emblems on republican Christmas cards and calendars”.

There were mixed views in Derry’s Bogside yesterday as passers-by viewed the display.

One person said: “I don’t have a problem with it. I don’t think it’s sinister. It’s light-hearted.”

However, another local said: “It’s not appropriate. Weapons are supposed to be a thing of the past and to link them to Christmas is just wrong.”