Unionists have expressed their disgust after a memorial to 18 soldiers killed in an IRA attack at Narrow Water in Warrenpoint has been damaged yet again.
Poppy wreaths and remembrance crosses were destroyed in the attack, which took place shortly before 8.30am this morning.
Police are treating the incident as a hate crime and have appealed for information.
On August 27, 1979, eighteen British soldiers were killed and six were seriously injured when the IRA detonated two large roadside bombs at Narrow Water Castle.
This is not the first time the memorial has been desecrated. Last summer, vandals attacked the site twice within the space of a month.
Condemning the attack, Ulster Unionist Councillor David Taylor said those responsible for the damage were “full of hate”.
He added: “These attacks never stop. It is just endless. Given the events of this week when we have seen terrorists bring death and destruction to the people of Manchester, it is appalling that there are still people in Northern Ireland who have learnt nothing from our past and are so full of hatred that they want to destroy memorials to the victims of terrorism from Northern Ireland’s Troubles.”
Branding the attack “sickening”, Harold McKee, Ulster Unionist Westminster candidate for South Down said: “This only serves to compound the pain of the families of the service personnel who lost their lives at Narrow Water.
“All right thinking people should condemn this hate crime and I would appeal to anyone with information on this incident to report it to the PSNI immediately. The police need help to bring the criminals responsible before the courts.”
South Down DUP Westminster candidate Diane Forsythe called the attack “disgraceful” and added: “It can have been motivated by nothing more than bigotry and unfortunately repeats a pattern we have seen all too often before against other memorials to those murdered by the IRA across Northern Ireland.”