Flags debate continues
POLITICAL flags have come to the fore yet again in Limavady, with DUP MLA George Robinson now wading into the debate with Mayor Sean McGlinchey.
Sinn Féin man McGlinchey welcomed the removal of Republican flags from the Glens Estate and called on Unionists to follow their lead and remove flags from the Bovally area and the town centre.
He expressed hope that the town would be free of flag flying all year round, but local DUP man George Robinson has now re-iterated his support for the flying of the Union Flag at the council building.
Despite saying in March that he was issuing his “one and only statement on the issue of flags”, and that he was trying to avoid a “ping pong through the press”, the East Londonderry MLA has now stepped into the murky waters of flag flying again.
He said: “I have read with interest the comments of Limavady’s Mayor with regard to the flying of foreign country flags in Limavady on specified days.
“I am assuming that as the Mayor sees this as a route to equality he will, as Mayor, welcome any proposal to reinstate the flying of the Union Flag on specified days outside the Council Headquarters in the interests of equality.
“The Union Flag is the flag of our country and, whether the Mayor and his party colleagues like it or not, is therefore the flag of Northern Ireland as we are an integral part of the United Kingdom. “My party colleagues never have and never will support anything that would enable the flying of the foreign flags the Mayor wants to have flying and will proudly support the flying of our National Flag - the Union Flag at every opportunity.”
McGlinchey has also issued his own statement on the issue of flags in Limavady. He welcomed the removal of Republican flags in Limavady town last Wednesday and expressed hope that the entire town might be “flag free” all year round. He stated that this was a demonstration of civic leadership and that by engaging with the residents of the Glens area, the town has set an example to encourage the Unionist community to follow his lead for the benefit of everyone.
He said: “Talks have been taking place for some considerable time to resolve the long running saga of flags in Limavady town. I have invested many hours of my time with the residents of the Glens, the PSNI and the local Good Relations officer.
“The Republican flags have now been removed and in future they will only be flown on designated days about eight or ten days a year. I would encourage the leaders of the Unionist community to follow our lead and address their flags issue in Bovally and the town centre.
“We are living in a shared society and I and my party Sinn Féin truly respect all traditions. Now I want to see the town of Limavady cleared of flags flying 365 days of the year and present a positive tourist friendly message to all visitors in our borough.”
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Weather for Londonderry
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 6 C to 9 C
Wind Speed: 28 mph
Wind direction: North