Outrage as poppy wreaths laid at war memorial in Northern Ireland thrown in river
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Outrage as poppy wreaths laid at war memorial in Northern Ireland thrown in river

POPPY WREATHS which were laid at a memorial in a town in Co Down have been thrown into a local river.

The memorial, which is located at Bridge Street in the town of Kilkeel, commemorates those residents of Kilkeel who were killed or missing in World War I and World War II and the conflict in Northern Ireland.

Police in Kilkeel received a report that the memorial had been targeted and that the wreaths had been removed.

Newry, Mourne and Down independent councillor Henry Reilly told the Belfast Telegraph that he was “disgusted” at the desecration of the memorial.

“The memorial was not created as a political project but solely as a means of respecting the memory of all those who died in our council area due to their service,” he said.

“Those named on the memorial represent both Protestant and Catholic and people of all faiths and backgrounds.

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“The people who would even contemplate desecrating wreaths laid in their memory should consider the degree of sacrifice made by those police and military, but also the continued pain and suffering of their loved ones.”

The PSNI are now appealing to anyone for information regarding the incident.

Cllr Reilly also credited the young people of the town who came together to “retrieve several of the wreaths” from the river.

He said: “This is the first time there has been such an attack since the memorial was created 11 years ago and I sincerely hope it will be the last.

“Respecting the deceased is not too much to ask.”