THE Ulster Unionist Party leader has strongly condemned the republican street “celebrations” following the death of Baroness Thatcher.
For several nights, republicans took to the streets of west Belfast and Derry/Londonderry to cheer the death of the 87-year-old former prime minister.
The one-time premier was a republican hate figure over the deaths of ten IRA hunger strikers in the Maze prison.
The IRA tried to kill her and her Cabinet when it detonated a bomb in the Grand Hotel in Brighton in 1984.
Mr Nesbitt said: “In addition to provoking and appalling others, the actions of those who have participated in street “celebrations” following the death of Baroness Thatcher on Monday serve only to diminish the humanity of those who take part.
“How can we plan a shared future when we see such scenes on our streets?
“They should remember that Gerry Adams will die some day and Martin McGuinness will die some day and those “celebrating” the death of Margaret Thatcher should beware setting an example and precedent that no right-thinking person wants to see repeated.”
North Belfast DUP MLA William Humphrey has called for an end to “ghoulish” public celebrations of the death of Baroness Thatcher in North and West Belfast
William Humphrey said: “Some within the republican/nationalist community have indulged in obscene public celebrations of the death of Baroness Thatcher.
“There has been a vitriol and nastiness to these which most people find deeply disturbing and distasteful. There are questions for the PSNI to answer regarding why they have not intervened during unnotified cavalcades and gatherings and the erection of offensive signs which are also increasing sectarian tensions in North and West Belfast.
“On Tuesday evening a large motor cavalcade travelled from Poleglass to the Divis area of LowerFalls with tricolours waving and horns blaring, in celebration of the death of Thatcher.
“Several people from the unionist community have reported inadvertently coming across this cavalcade when travelling through the Falls area, becoming fearful for their safety and having to make a rapid u-turn.
“All have expressed alarm at the lack of any PSNI presence in the vicinity of this rally and have contrasted this with what happens if such a large gathering occurs within a Protestant area.
“On the Cliftonville Road a banner was erected stating “Thatcher Rot In Hell”. This was in place for over two days, within a hundred yards of BelfastRoyalAcademy. This is sick gloating at the death of an elderly woman.
“All of these, and other similar incidents, show an appalling and ghoulish lack of common decency.
“The events of Thatcher’s time as Prime Minister will be debated for decades to come and there will be varying views on her premiership.
“However at the time of her death, at the age of 87, and while her family mourn for their loss, there must be decency in death. Margaret Thatcher served as Prime Minister through very difficult times for the United Kingdom, including in relation to Northern Ireland where the IRA campaign of terrorism was at its height.
“There is no doubt that much of the vitriol directed towards Thatcher in recent days from republicans has been because of her strength of character to not bowing to that terrorism despite being personally targeted and losing several close friends and colleagues to acts of terrorism.
“As was the case with the recent parading of child in paramilitary uniforms and firing of shots in Ardoyne, the response from local nationalist and republican politicians has been barely audible and notable by its absence. Local SDLP and Sinn Fein representatives need to break their silence and call for an end to these offensive and sickening displays.”