Council denies role in Tony Taylor posters

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Derry City and Strabane District Council says it has nothing to do with a number of ‘Free Tony Taylor’ signs which have appeared in Londonderry and Strabane.

The signs have been erected near landmark spots - near the Peace Bridge in Londonderry’ and beside the ‘Let the Dance Begin’ statues in Strabane.

They carry the official logo of Derry City and Strabane District Council.

A spokesperson for Derry City and Strabane District Council said that it did not commission or erect the posters.

Foyle DUP MLA Gary Middleton called for an urgent investigation into the erecting of the posters in Londonderry.

Mr Middleton said: “Over the weekend individuals took it upon themselves to erect posters calling for the release of convicted terrorist Tony Taylor.

“They decided to use the logo and property of ‘Derry City & Strabane District Council’ to promote this campaign, without the authorisation of the council.

“Photos released have shown the large posters being erected by individuals wearing council-branded work wear.

“We will be asking council to undertake an urgent investigation into this situation and to take appropriate action in having these posters removed immediately for the good of community relations.”

The posters read:

“Former British Secretary of State, Teresa Villers (sic), in conjunction with unaccountable intelligence agencies, has ordered the incarceration of Derry Republican Tony Taylor without charge or trial.

“This council calls for Tony’s immediate release.”

Last year Londonderry mayor Councillor Maolíosa McHugh caused controversy by wearing his chain of office as part of a Sinn Fein delegation which visited Tony Taylor, who is being held at Maghaberry Prison, which was not an official mayoral engagement.

Local DUP councillor David Ramsey said the appearance of the posters, complete with an official-looking logo, was causing outrage.

“Tony Taylor is well known for his terrorist activity,” he said.

“These posters need to be removed immediately for the good of community relations.

“We will await the Mayor’s response to this who has continually shown a lack of understanding of the Mayoral role and a total disregard for Unionism here locally.

“We will be asking council to undertake an urgent investigation into this situation and to take appropriate action in having these posters removed.