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Titanic Memorial: Criticism 'Ill-Informed', Says Politician

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Criticism of the Titanic commemoration events is "ill-informed", an Northern Ireland Assembly member said.

BBC presenter Andrew Marr branded parts of the anniversary schedule as "sordid and tasteless and dull". Alliance Party MLA Chris Lyttle said he was wrong.

A memorial service was held at Belfast's city hall yesterday to unveil bronze plaques to the 1,500 victims killed after the liner struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic in April 1912.

It was part of a programme which also featured an open-air MTV concert near the slipways where the vessel was launched.

Mr Lyttle said: "Esteemed journalist as he is, I think Marr on this occasion is ill-informed of the many dignified and creative ways that civic, community, church and political leaders have come together to balance celebration of a world-class innovation and endeavour but also to remember and respect the tragic loss of human life that occurred 100 years ago."

In a scathing attack, Glasgow-born presenter Mr Marr said the centenary anniversary had been treated as a celebration.

His Sunday morning programme The Andrew Marr Show, which attracts two million viewers, was not broadcast in Northern Ireland yesterday.

BBC Northern Ireland instead broadcast a major live event to mark the new memorial garden and unique commemorative plaque at Belfast city hall.

Mr Marr said: "One hundred years ago today the Titanic sank, killing more than 1,500 people.

"We have had films, mini-series, cruises, we have been treating it like a national celebration. Will we be doing this for fatal air crashes?

"I may be completely alone in this, but I think it has been sordid and tasteless and dull and I hope after today we hear nothing more about this sad story except from the driest of dry historians."

See the slideshow below for pictures of the memorial service

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