Pair charged with Cenotaph attack

May 12, 2014

Two men have been charged to appear in court next month with causing criminal damage to the Cenotaph at Bank Parade in Newry at the weekend.

The pair, aged 20 and 42, are also charged with disorderly behaviour after they were caught on CCTV removing wreaths and crosses from the war memorial and throwing them into the canal.  One of the accused allegedly urinated on the memorial.

The incident happened at 12.20am on Sunday.  When police arrived on the scene, the 42-year-old became abusive and has been further charged with obstructing police and indecent behaviour.

The two accused will appear before Newry Magistrates Court on Wednesday 4th June.

Condemning the incident, SDLP MLA, Dominic Bradley, said: “Those behind this attack have shown a total lack of respect for the memorial by damaging wreaths and crosses.  This kind of behaviour defies belief at a time when we should all be working to improve community relations.

“I have no doubt this attack will be condemned by all right thinking people.”

In a joint statement, Ulster Unionist Councillor David Taylor and Newry DEA Candidate Joshua Lowry, described the attack as “sick and vile.”

“Those individuals responsible for attacking Newry Cenotaph are sick and vile with little or nothing to offer to society and must be condemned by all right thinking people.  Desecrating a Cenotaph that is there to remember people from all sections of our society who fought and died in defence of the freedoms which we enjoy today is the lowest of the low.

“The CCTV operator and the PSNI must be praised for their swift intervention which led to the apprehension of two suspects. We hope that those responsible will face a heavy punishment befitting of the sickening crime that occurred.”