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Condemnation after elderly woman selling poppies confronted in Tesco

Poppy seller Lurgan

A poppy seller in Lurgan was confronted by a member of the public prompting police action on Tuesday afternoon.

Officers were called to the incident by staff at the Tesco store in the Carnegie Street area of the town.

A video of the incident, which is more than six minutes in length, has been circulating online and been met with condemnation.

Upper Bann MP, Carla Lockhart, said: “I am aware of a video circulating where an individual has been verbally abusive to a poppy seller in Tesco, Lurgan.

“On receipt of the information I spoke with the PSNI regarding treating this as a hate crime. They confirmed they are investigating the incident.

“Poppies remember the brave men and woman who laid down their lives for our freedom and in Northern Ireland many of our security forces paid the ultimate sacrifice because they put on a uniform. They acted as human shields between evil barbaric terrorists and upstanding citizens. Never will we apologise or stop remembering their service and sacrifice.

“We have seen a concerted campaign in recent years by certain elements to taint this annual memorial of those who served. It is no surprise that those want the past to be forgotten because of the atrocities they and their cohorts committed and/or supported. Let’s make that extra effort to support this years poppy appeal and educate your children about the importance of remembrance.”

DUP MLA Jonathan Buckley added: “By now, many of you will have seen the video of a Poppy seller being aggressively confronted and harassed in Tesco Lurgan.

“Last night I reached out to the lady selling poppies, and I commended her for being so dignified and for her courage in continuing to sell poppies in the face of such vile bigotry.

“Sadly this year more than ever, those raising vital funds for the Poppy Appeal have been met with disrespect and hostility.

“Poppy sellers take time every year to graciously honour the dead and raise crucial funds for veterans, service personnel and their families.

“Over the next four days, if you see a poppy seller, please take time to thank them and show them support – it’s the least we can do.”

A police spokesperson said: “Police in Lurgan received a report of a verbal altercation at commercial premises in the Carnegie Street area on Tuesday, November 7.

“Officers attended and spoke to a number of individuals about the matter, however, no statement of complaint was made and no further action was taken. Police remained in the area and continued to monitor the situation.”

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