A controversial banner erected on a fence at a children’s play park in Newry has been branded “sick” and “beneath contempt”.
The banner at Raymond McCreesh Park refers to the IRA man in question as “Our Hero”.
McCreesh, from Camlough, was reportedly in possession of a rifle used to gun down 10 innocent protestant workmen at Kingsmills in 1976.
He was one one the seven IRA hunger strikers that died in the Maze Prison in 1981.
Local Unionist councillor David Taylor has slammed those responsible and has called upon Sinn Fein to remove it.
“The banner on display at the children’s play park is sick. To call a man who was caught in possession of one of the guns used at Kingsmills ‘our hero’ is beneath contempt,” said Mr Taylor.
“It is a deliberate insult directed at McCreesh’s victims, their long suffering families and an insult to the memory of those murdered and injured in the Kingsmills massacre.
“It again exposes Sinn Fein’s campaign for ‘rights, equality and respect’ as nothing more than a perverse charade.
“Despite being exposed earlier this year, this shows that any apologies given following insults about the Kingsmills Massacre were just hollow words lacking in any genuine remorse for the hurt and pain they caused.
“Sinn Fein are now building up a long track record of carefully directed insults towards the victims of the IRA, and as my party Colleague Doug Beattie MC MLA has said, demonstrates the perverseness of Sinn Fein’s attitude to the victims of IRA murder. They clearly have no shame.
“I am deeply disappointed and shocked at the endorsement of this banner by Ballybot residents. By doing so they are causing deep offence to a great many people, including their Unionist neighbours.
He added: “I call on Michelle O’Neill and members of Sinn Fein in Newry locally to condemn this insult and for the sake of community relations appeal for them to work to have this appalling banner removed,” he said.
Raymond McCreesh was arrested whilst in possession of the rifle used by the PIRA to murder 10 Protestant workmen in 1976. Naming a playpark after him is wrong on so many levels. Glorifying those who used terrorism only serves to confuse the next generation. Violence was futile. pic.twitter.com/1IN922vVnu
— Arlene Foster (@DUPleader) March 28, 2018