PSNI: Petrol bomb attack on war memorial was a hate crime - cross community condemnation of ‘hateful attacks’

The PSNI are treating an apparent petrol bomb attack on Glengormley War Memorial - the latest in a long line of damage - as a hate crime.

Friday, 2nd April 2021, 6:07 pm
Updated Friday, 2nd April 2021, 6:18 pm

Local representatives say the memorial had only just been restored after a recent attack when it was targeted again.

On Thursday night, poppy wreaths arranged on a special stand in front of the war memorial at Lilian Bland Park on the Ballyclare Road were burned, causing scorch damage to the memorial itself.

The PSNI said they are investigating and are treating the attack as a hate crime. Officers attended the scene and will be in the area making further enquiries, a spokeswoman said.

Poppy wreathes arranged on a special stand were burned and scorch damage caused at Glengormley war memorial. Police are treating the attack as a hate crime. Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

The memorial has been repeatedly targeted over the years, and a railing was installed around it in 2014 in order to provide protection.

 Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Jim Montgomery, said he was “horrified” that there has been a second attack in recent weeks.

“This contemptible attack is extremely disrespectful and insulting not only to those who lost their lives to give us the freedom we enjoy today, but also to the people of our Borough,” he said.

“I wholly condemn this behaviour. Despicable hate crimes of this nature will not stop the people in the Borough who wish to, remembering those who fought and in many cases sacrificed their lives to protect our freedom. I would appeal to anyone who has information on this cowardly act to contact the PSNI.”

The Mayor is to re-lay another wreath at the memorial to mark his respects.

UUP group leader on the council, Alderman Mark Cosgrove condemned what he said was the latest in a long line of attacks.

“I simply cannot fathom the mindset of hate and ignorance that could lead anyone to sneak around in the dead of night with a petrol bomb and seek to desecrate a memorial to those of all faiths and races who fought and died to protect everyone’s liberty and rights to exist as free people,” he said.

SDLP Glengormley Councillor and Deputy Mayor Noreen McClelland also condemned the attack.

“This site was vandalised just weeks ago and after being restored by the local community, it has been targeted once again. These hateful attacks have greatly angered and upset the local community in Glengormley. Those committing them have no support and should desist.”

Anyone with information can call police on tel 101 ref 497, April 2 or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Alistair Bushe