Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has made a complaint to police in the North after an effigy of him was dangled from a mock gallows attached to a three-storey bonfire prepared for the Orange Order celebrations.
The figure was decorated with a picture of Mr Adams’ face and placed in front of a tricolour and above the slogan “Keep Antrim Tidy”.
Another tricolour strapped to the bonfire had the words “PSNI”, “DUP” and “Sinn Féin” written on it.
The effigy was dangled from the Ballycraigy bonfire which has previously provoked controversy because of the danger it poses to local residents when it is set alight.
The bonfire, built for the July 12 festival, was to be the focal point for a family fun day yesterday with bouncy castles and waterslides.
Mr Adams said the depiction of a mock lynching of him was a new escalation of sectarian hate crime in the North.
He called on the Orange Order to have it removed.
“The Orange Order claims that bonfires are an important part of protestant culture and should be welcoming to families.
“What happens at Orange events is clearly the responsibility of the Orange Order. The figure of a lynch victim on a bonfire is not a welcoming sight for anyone. This is a disturbing escalation of sectarian and hate crime,” he said.
Following publicity of Mr Adams’ complaint, the Ballycraigy Bonfire Facebook page, where the picture first appeared, posted a defiant message.
“Whoop whoop!!!ballycraigy. LTW [lead the way] Fuk u Gerry ask ur ma,” it said.
Earlier Mr Adams had instructed his solicitor to make a complaint to the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
Last week, there were separate complaints after posters of other politicians in the North, from Sinn Féin and the Alliance Party, were displayed on bonfires by loyalists.
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