Sinn Féin candidate says town has been ‘stripped’ of his election posters

Liam Mackle said posters have been removed from Portadown and Lurgan as well as Banbridge
Sinn Féin candidate says town has been ‘stripped’ of his election posters

By Rebecca Black, PA

A Sinn Féin election candidate in Northern Ireland has complained that his party’s elections posters have been stripped from Banbridge.

Liam Mackle said posters have also been stolen in Portadown and Lurgan.

He said he is seeking a meeting with police about the thefts.

“Banbridge town has been practically stripped of Sinn Féin posters, in Portadown masked Loyalists ripped posters from poles and Lurgan has also seen significant losses,” he said.

“The sheer scale of theft and destruction of Sinn Féin posters in Upper Bann means the police must respond to protect democracy.”

Chief Inspector Lynne Corbett said police investigate all incidents reported to them.

“Police in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon are committed to doing everything we can to ensure all candidates can participate fully in the forthcoming Northern Ireland Assembly election free from harassment, intimidation and other forms of criminality,” she said.

“We are investigating thoroughly all incidents which have been reported to us, including the removal and destruction of election posters, and any identified suspects will be liable to prosecution.

“I would be happy to engage with any person or party with concerns on this matter and would appeal to anyone who witnesses the theft or damage of election posters to contact police immediately.”

It is the latest in a number of complaints of election posters being removed ahead of the Assembly poll on May 5th.

Police previously revealed they had received dozens of reports about election posters being damaged, removed or destroyed across Northern Ireland during this election campaign.

Earlier this month SDLP South Belfast candidate Elsie Trainor said she was attacked by two youths as she confronted them over the removal of some of her posters in the Ormeau Park area.

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