Former Mayor: Unionist flag flying is a ‘perverse ritual’

Flags at Edenmore Road Limavady. INLV2114-313KDR
Flags at Edenmore Road Limavady. INLV2114-313KDR

Renewed calls have been made for unionist flags to be taken down in Limavady, in the latest example of a long-running flags feud in the town.

Sinn Féin councillor Brenda Chivers, a former Mayor of Limavady, has hit out at what she called the “perverse ritual” of erecting unionist flags on lamp posts throughout the town on an annual basis.

She said no flags, British or Irish, should be “flown from lamp posts until they flutter in the wind as rags.”

The flags issue has been controversial in Limavady in recent years, with the council’s own policy on flags drawing particular controversy.

The town was rocked last year as loyalist flag protesters congregated at the front of the local council building whilst a meeting was ongoing, forcing Sinn Féin councillors to exit via the rear of the building.

Numerous attempts have been made to reach agreement on the flying of flags from lampposts throughout Limavady town, although Councillor Chivers’ comments indicate the attempts have been unsuccessful.

Councillor Chivers said: “I am disappointed that scores of Unionist flags have again been erected in areas of contention and I hope that we can come to agreement to have them removed,

“The local residents are sick of having their area marked out in some kind of perverse ritual year on year that not only demeans the area but also causes tension right through the summer.

“National flags whether British or Irish should not be flown from lamp posts until they flutter in the wind as rags. “They should be given proper respect and flown in a manner that does not cause annoyance to anyone. I am calling on local political and community leaders on both sides to come together and work out a solution to the flag issue that will everyone to engage in their own culture without causing offence to others.”