Latest: Teebane bombing memorial outside Cookstown attacked for second time within weeks

Paint poured over the Teebane memorial which is along the main Cookstown to Omagh

Paint poured over the Teebane memorial which is along the main Cookstown to Omagh

A memorial to the victims of the Teebane bombing outside Cookstown has been destroyed in a paint attack.

The names of the people who lost their lives in the IRA blast were completely covered by the white paint.

Ian McCrea beside the Teebane Memorial

Ian McCrea beside the Teebane Memorial

At the end of February, floral tributes left at the memorial were thrown across the road,

When it comes to this latest incident, the PSNI said it is believed to have happened some time overnight. It was reported to police at 10.50am on Monday.

Asked if it is being treated as a “hate crime”, the PSNI said this is “a strong line of enquiry”.

Drew Nelson, Orange Order Grand Secretary, described the latest act of vandalism as a “deplorable act”.

This memorial is attacked on a regular basis, but this is the worst I have seen

Trevor Wilson, Mid Ulster councillor

He said: “Such memorial tributes should be sacrosanct and those responsible ought to be utterly ashamed of their actions.

“Their wickedness goes beyond the pale and is deeply hurtful and upsetting to the relatives of the deceased, who have no doubt been re-traumatised by such vile and reprehensible criminality.”

UUP councillor Trevor Wilson said he was appalled by the new incident, which he said was the most extreme vandalism he had yet seen at the memorial.

“This latest attack is despicable, words cannot express the hurt and the feelings of the families and what they must be going through,” he said.

“This memorial is attacked on a regular basis, but this is the worst I have seen.

“Somebody must know who is doing this, and I would call on anyone with information to go to the police.”

He added: “This was not a drive-by attack like the last time, someone drove there with the intention of doing this, they took paint with them to destroy the memorial. It is just disgusting.”

And DUP Assembly candidate, Ian McCrea, also hit out at the “scum” responsible for throwing paint over the Teebane Memorial.

“Having been contacted about this, I immediately went out to Teebane and was disgusted to see two different colours of paint had been thrown over the front of the memorial,” he said.

“I have since been in contact with family members of some of the innocent victims of Teebane and words can’t describe the feelings at this despicable attack.

“This latest attack follows the damage to the floral tributes left by family members only a few weeks ago and it beggars belief that there are those who will stoop so low as to attack a memorial to eight innocent men murdered by the IRA on January 17, 1992.”

Eight workmen were killed in the PIRA bomb attack on January 17, 1992 at the Teebane crossroads on the Drum Road, the main route between Omagh and Cookstown.

Hannah Loughrin, TUV Assembly candidate for Mid-Ulster, said: “This latest attack on the simple and dignified memorial to the atrocity underscores the reality that the mindset of those who planted the bomb is alive and well in Northern Ireland.”

However, she added: “It will take a great deal more than paint to whitewash the deeds of the Provisionals.”