Page last updated at 11:40 GMT, Friday, 9 October 2009 12:40 UK

Victim condemns Bangor plinths

Plinths
Three plinths with loyalist paramilitary inscriptions were erected in the garden

A Bangor man whose sister was killed by the Red Hand Commando has said loyalist monuments erected in the town's Kilcooley estate should be removed immediately.

Tony Coughlin's sister Mildred Harrison was an RUC Reserve Constable when she was murdered in 1975.

The plinths are in a garden of remembrance which was funded by £74,000 from the Housing Executive.

Mr Coughlin said seeing the memorials reminded him of his sister's death.

"One piece of shrapnel entered her heart and severed one of the arteries and she died," Mr Coughlin said.

"There wasn't another mark on her body. It brings me back and I think these people just should not be commemorated.

"The people who put them up should remove them and possibly taken to court if they don't and fined until they are removed."

The money for the project was linked to the removal of murals and graffiti and the Housing Executive has stressed that none of the funding was spent on the plinths.

Earlier this week, Housing Executive area manager Stephen Graham said they had appeared "at the eleventh hour" and were "extremely regrettable".

He said he and his colleagues were urgently seeking meetings with local representatives.

Three black stones bear inscriptions dedicated to the "glorious memory" of the UDA, UVF, and Red Hand Commando.

Our concern is if we take a heavy hand with this, there could be safety issues involved
Stephen Graham
Housing Executive

The funds from the Department of Social Development were distributed by the Housing Executive under a neighbourhood renewal project.

Mr Graham said: "The original specification was to build a brick wall with a small plinth in memory of those killed in WWI, two small plaques and a Union flag and an Ulster flag.

"Everything that was included in the original specification has been done, and that was what the funding paid for.

"At the eleventh hour and unknown to us and the Department of Social Development, these three plinths have appeared on the site."

Mr Graham said he felt the plinths should be removed by the people who erected them.

"Our concern is if we take a heavy hand with this, there could be safety issues involved and it could damage our relationship with the local community which supported this garden," he said.



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