Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney has called on unionist political leaders to condemn the ‘hatemongers’ who put a coffin bearing the image of Martin McGuinness on an East Belfast bonfire.
“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,” the South Antrim MLA said.
“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.”
Calling on unionist leaders to condemn the display, he 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.”