FLAG FURY

Causing controversy: A 'starry plough' flag which was erected in Glengormley to commemorate the Easter Rising. INNT 15-451RM
Causing controversy: A 'starry plough' flag which was erected in Glengormley to commemorate the Easter Rising. INNT 15-451RM

THERE has been widespread anger and condemnation over the appearance of republican flags in and around Glengormley.

The tricolour and the Irish provincial flag along with flags associated with republicanism have been erected along the Antrim, Church and O’Neill roads in recent days. It is thought the flags were put up for the Easter Rising commemorations.

Residents have voiced their dismay at the display of flags around the town.

And political representatives have stated that the flags fly against the ‘neutrality of the area’.

Sinn Fein councillor Marie Mackessy said: “Our concern was that a number of residents had contacted us about these flags to say they were not wanted.

“We have been working with people in the area and have been assured they will only be up for a short time and will be taken down.”

She went on: “We have been working strongly with community groups and various people in and around Glengormley to maintain the town as a neutral environment and recently we worked to get a number of loyalist flags taken down.

“During this difficult economic time this does not help the image of Glengormley, or the traders of the town.

“We have had discussions and hope that we can move forward from this.

“Our concern was that there were residents who did not want these flags put up.”

Fellow Antrim Line councillor Mark Cosgrove said he had been assured that the flags would be taken down by Wednesday (April 11).

The Ulster Unionist said: “I have had these assurances from senior police officers who have been working to resolve this issue.

“The people of Collinbridge, Elmfield and Church Road do not want these flags or any other sectarian symbols in their area.

“I have received several calls from residents demanding that they are removed and I’ve called upon the police to act.

“The overwhelming majority of people want to live in peace with their neighbours, free from intimidation.

“I don’t know who is behind this but I can tell them that they have no support.

“There is so much good cross-community work being done in Glengormley that you have to question the motives who seek to raise tensions at this time.”

Read the full story in this week’s Times...