Damage to a memorial stone and plaque remembering the murder of civilian Hugh Clarke at Tullymacrieve near Mullaghbawn in April 1977 has been condemned by MLA Danny Kennedy and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Councillor, David Taylor.

In a joint statement the local representatives described the attack on the memorial as "disgusting and hurtful in the extreme to the widow and family circle of William Clarke who was abducted and murdered in very cruel circumstances nearly forty years ago".

Mr Kennedy said "this attack is entirely reprehensible and completely devoid of feeling after nearly forty years - those responsible are the lowest of the low".

Cllr Taylor added the attack had caused great distress to the widow and members of the Clarke family, "who have suffered in silence since 1977 and borne their grief and loss with enormous dignity". He described those responsible as "seriously sick individuals" and appealed to the local South Armagh community to "ensure the memorial, when reinstated, would be respected in the future".

Police have estimated damage to the memorial stone on the Carricknagavanagh Road is in the region of £1000.

It is thought that the criminal damage occurred sometime between midnight and 8am on Saturday 6 August and the police are treating the incident as a sectarian hate crime

The PSNI are appealing for anyone who might have information which may assist the investigation to contact them at Newtownhamilton Police Station on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 1271 of 07/08/16. Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.


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