“Illegal flags must be removed,” says new president
A LOYALIST paramilitary flag or other illegal flags along Hospital Road in Omagh should be removed, according to the new DUP chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council.
The Red Hand Commando flag is one of more than a dozen that have been erected along the busy road in the past two months, raising concerns among some local residents and nationalist advisers.
Speaking to the Tyrone Herald this week, DUP’s Errol Thompson said all illegal or ragged flags should be removed. However, he warned that the issue is “very sensitive” due to pro-Union apprehensions on the occasion of Northern Ireland’s centenary and the controversy surrounding the Irish Sea border. “The centennial year is a celebration for many and this year is controversial. If the flags are illegal then I would ask that they be taken down, and I don’t agree with the flags rotting on the poles, ”he said.
“Hunger strike commemoration signs were also erected and the one outside County Hall acted as a provocation to many people who contacted me, especially some families involved in the Omagh bombing. .
“People have to consider the year we’re in. My attitude is that of living and letting live. Barry McElduff from Sinn Fein suggested a protocol, but I’m not sure who they’re going to discuss it with. A lot of people in the pro-Union community wouldn’t have much faith in what Barry has to say due to his past antics.
“There is a lot of apprehension within the pro-union community and we don’t want to upset it more than it is. My appeal is that all questions be respected by law. “
He was responding to calls from Omagh Town Sinn Fein city councilor Barry McElduff for a “flag protocol by the city’s political leaders and community groups”.
He said he was contacted by people saying there were “too many” flags along Hospital Road.
“They believe that those who erected these flags have gone too far and that the atmosphere created is” unwelcoming, intimidating and off-putting, “he added.
SIGN UP FOR CURRENT EDITION TODAY
and access our archive editions dating from 2007
(CLICK ON THE TITLE BELOW TO SUBSCRIBE)
Posted: 5:15 p.m. June 9, 2021