A survivor of an IRA bomb that claimed the lives of six soldiers in 1988 has spoken of her “disgust” after memorial wreaths were vandalised.
Andrea Brown, who suffered life-changing injuries in the Lisburn blast, said it was appalling the poppy wreaths in memory of the six soldiers she described as “heroes” were targeted.
She was one of 11 bystanders injured in the blast on the Market Street area of Lisburn on June 15, 1988, following a ‘fun run’ charity half marathon.
The soldiers killed in the bomb attack had been in an unmarked military vehicle when the IRA device detonated.
A number of poppy wreaths left close to the site of the attack were discovered vandalised today.
Mrs Brown said: “The families of those six soldiers viewed those men as heroes. That’s how I view them as well because that’s what they were.
“They will be devastated when they find out about this vandalism.
“It is disgusting. Why would anyone do this? Some people just want to cause hurt.”
She continued: “There have been wreaths there for a very long time. Last year was the 30th anniversary and I’ll never forget that someone had put six pairs of trainers with flowers in them. It was the most beautiful thing in memory of the soldiers. There are people who genuinely care, but there are people who genuinely don’t.”
DUP Lagan Valley MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson condemned the incident.
“In this period of remembrance, what kind of individual feels it is right to desecrate a memorial in this way?” he said.
“Thanks to the constituent who reported this. I have now alerted the council who will reinstate the wreaths.”
Ulster Unionist councillor Stuart Hughes also expressed anger.
“Disgusted to learn that the memorial to those murdered in the Lisburn Half Marathon bomb has been vandalised,” he said.
“Some people have no shame,” he commented on Twitter.
A spokeswoman for Lisburn and Castlereagh Council said the wreaths will be reinstated.
“Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council is aware of the damage,” she said.
“The council has arranged for the area to be cleared and the wreaths will be reinstated as soon as possible.”