However, Inspector Keith Jamieson said police “must attempt to achieve a balance between the rights of one community over another…there is no doubt this sign will be perceived by some to be offensive but not by others and while we are sensitive to the feelings of victims’ families, the PSNI must attempt to achieve a balance between the rights of one community over another and of course must act within the law.”
Alliance Justice spokesperson Trevor Lunn MLA said any such banner should not have been erected in the first place and should be taken down immediately.
“Any glorification of terrorism or murder, no matter which quarter it originates from, is wrong and in direct contravention of the Terrorism Act 2000. For the police to compound this by stating the killing of four people needs to be balanced by its praise is nothing short of disgraceful. The PSNI certainly has questions to answer over this matter and Alliance has requested a meeting with the Chief Constable regarding it.
“There is nothing to balance in this case – murder is wrong and we must all unite to reject the likes of this banner and other murals or similar memorials if we are to build a safe and inclusive society for everyone in Northern Ireland. It is also wrong to assume that only nationalists would get offended by it, as anyone who is opposed to terrorism will be affronted by it.
“How we mark and memorialise those who died in the Trouble is a sensitive area that needs to be addressed as part of dealing with the past. However, any process must never stray into the glorification of terrorism, nor must police or any other statutory agency give such actions legitimacy.”