Police investigating bonfire hate crimes across Northern Ireland

Michelle O'Neill effigy
Michelle O'Neill has responded after an image and effigy of her was placed on a loyalist 11th night bonfire.

Michelle O'Neill has said that those who placed an effigy of her on an 11th night bonfire should "catch themselves on".

The Sinn Féin vice-president reiterated her desire to be a first minister for all, and said those guilty of effigy burnings should "join the rest of us in building a better future. "

The PSNI confirmed that they received reports of "election posters, flags and other offensive material being placed on bonfires".

The PSNI said they have received these reports from across Northern Ireland and they are "treating these incidents as hate crimes".

The police have launched investigations into these incidents.

Michelle O'Neill responded on twitter after images of her and Irish Tricolours were placed on a bonfire in Dungannon.

The Sinn Féin vice president said: "Those attempting to cause offence with effigies etc should catch themselves on and join the rest of us in building a better future.

"I am determined to be a First Minister for all. I will represent the whole community irrespective of who you are and where you come from."

A number of politicians took to Twitter to highlight their election posters had been put on bonfires. Unionists representatives condemned the placing of images on the pyres. An Alliance candidate who had election posters placed on a bonfire has said there is "so much wrong with this on a personal level."

Caitlin Sullivan ran for Belfast City Council in the Ormiston ward earlier in 2023, and works in policy and research for the party.

She said that , "No matter the intention, your attempt at trying to discourage young, intelligent and dedicated women from politics here has not worked. "Not my Northern Ireland."

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