DUP MLA outraged as officer 'helps' republican erect Irish tricolour outside pub
A DUP Assembly member has condemned a policeman for securing a ladder a man was climbing to erect a tricolour.
North Belfast MLA William Humphrey called the officer's assistance "inappropriate" and said he intended to raise the issue with PSNI chiefs.
"I don't think that's it's appropriate for police to be helping people who are decorating the streets with Irish flags for a parade which is effectively for republicans," he added.
"We hope to meet with the police about a range of issues that have caused concern to us.
"There are issues about parading and about the lack of police in Lurgan and Coalisland compared to the level of policing at Twadell Avenue on Monday morning for the Apprentice Boys' parade.
"Police need to be seen to be acting in an impartial and balanced way, and we are concerned about some of the things that we have seen over the past few days.
"It looks to me that the police have not been balanced in how they have been policing.
"We are at the start of the parading season and I don't think we have had a good few days because of the behaviour of republicans who have gone out of their way to break the law and put the police in a difficult position."
But Sinn Fein MLA Fra McCann described Mr Humphrey's comments as "pathetic".
"Thousands of people took part in Sunday's commemoration of the Easter Rising in Belfast," he added.
"It was one of the largest commemorations seen in Belfast for decades and was held in a respectful, dignified and family- friendly atmosphere.
"It is pathetic that William Humphrey has chosen to be offended by a non-story."
The policeman in question was photographed securing a ladder outside McEnaney's bar on the Glen Road in west Belfast over the Easter holidays.
A senior police officer denied the officer was helping the man put up the flag and said he was "quite right" to step in and ensure the man was safe in windy conditions.
Superintendent Paula Hilman added: "Police officers in west Belfast were involved in the policing operation around the commemoration of the Easter Rising.
"The weather conditions were blustery and an officer on duty at the Glen Road observed that a ladder which was positioned against a building was starting to move in the wind.
"The officer quite rightly put his foot against the bottom rung of the ladder to steady it and prevent the man using the ladder from being hurt."