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Police have arrested a 44 year old woman following an incident last night where wreaths and crosses were removed from the Cenotaph at Sugar Island in Newry and thrown in to the Clanrye River. The war memorial was also attacked in July of this year.

Commenting on the incident Sergeant Lawson said: "Around 11:20pm last night (Thursday 29 November) police observed a number of wreaths and wooden crosses that had been placed at a war memorial in the Sugar Island area of city had thrown into the river.

The scene at Sugar Island where the incident took place. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
The scene at Sugar Island where the incident took place. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

"Police subsequently arrested a 44-year-old woman on suspicion of criminal damage who remains in custody assisting us with our enquiries."

The incident is being treated as a hate crime.

Sgt Lawson added “Hate crime, in all its forms, is totally unacceptable. It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to ensure that we live in a society where diversity is respected. If you or someone you know is the victim of a hate crime please contact police or your local support agency. For more information visit www.psni.police.uk"

The PSNI are appealing to anyone who was in the area last night, around 11:20pm and saw what happened, or anyone who has information they believe may assist our investigation to call us on the non emergency number 101, quoting reference number 1328 of 29/11/18.

Information can also be provided to the 100% anonymous independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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Condemning the vandalism MLA Conor Murphy added "This incident where wreaths and wooden crosses at the war memorial in Newry were damaged was wrong and I condemn it.

"There is no place for attacks like this in our society.

"Monuments and memorials are important places in communities and should be respected.

"I would encourage anyone with information on this incident to contact the PSNI."

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