Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Sinn Fein councillor: Return stolen Union flag now

The Union flag
The Union flag

A Sinn Fein councillor has called for a Union flag stolen from an Orange hall to be returned immediately.

It is believed three men were responsible for the theft of the flag from Eglinton Orange hall in Co Londonderry and replacing it with dissident republican 32 County Sovereignty Movement emblem.

Londonderry City grand master James Hetherington slammed those responsible and said it would not interfere with the good relations which exist between the two communities in the village.

He said: "Anyone who has ever spent any time in Eglinton will know how well the two communities integrate; they work hand in glove with each other and have done so for decades."

Sinn Fein councillor for the area Paul Fleming said: "Flags and symbols should be treated with respect and the theft of this flag must be condemned.

"We want to create a culture of tolerance and actions like this do nothing to contribute to that.

"This is no different to the destruction of tricolours on loyalist bonfires.

"I hope this will not do anything to raise community tensions in the area and I would appeal for the return of this flag to its owners."

Police are treating the incident as a hate crime.

A spokeswoman for the PSNI appealed for anyone with information to contact them.

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