A window display of a snowman armed with a rocket launcher and the message ‘Wishing you an explosive Christmas’ has been slammed as ‘highly offensive’.
It is on display in the office of the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association in the Junior McDaid House in Londonderry’s Bogside.
The “decoration” appears in the front window of the property on Chamberlain Street, which is also the headquarters of republican political party Saoradh and the youth group, Eistigi Doire.
The building is named after IRA member James ‘Junior’ McDaid, who was shot dead by the British Army in December 1972.
DUP MP Gregory Campbell, has described the window display as “highly offensive” and says it must be condemned by “all right-thinking people”.
“Most people look on Christmas as a family time and republicans are equating it with terrorism,” he said.
“An image of a snowman with a rocket launcher to mark the season of peace and goodwill borders on the obscene.
“Terrorism has already caused enough heartache in Northern Ireland without these people compounding the hurt.”
The East Londonderry MP added that the painting would be “considered as propaganda by those behind it and their supporters, but I believe it will be seen in a poor light by everyone else”.
He said the display was following “in a long line of paramilitary-type emblems on republican Christmas cards and calendars”.
There were mixed views in Londonderry’s Bogside yesterday as passers-by viewed the display.
One person said: “I don’t have a problem with it. I don’t think it’s sinister. It’s light-hearted.”
However, another local said: “It’s not appropriate. Weapons are supposed to be a thing of the past and to link them to Christmas is just wrong.”