Belfast Telegraph

Unionist anger over huge Irish Tricolour in Castlewellan

By Staff Reporter

An Easter Rising anniversary row erupted last night after unionists slammed republican flag displays and a tribute to Roger Casement near a war memorial.

A massive Tricolour - estimated at being 60ft across - was attached to scaffolding at Castlewellan Library and covered up a war memorial.

Alan Lewis from South Down Ukip said: "This is how republicans choose to respect the local community and their unionist neighbours.

"It seems that Sinn Fein's equality agenda has completely gone out the window as they hurry to glorify their failed rebellion. If this total lack of respect is a glimpse into the united Ireland that republicans so desire, it is no wonder that unionists in this country want absolutely no part of it."

Meanwhile, Belfast DUP councillor Frank McCoubrey condemned those who erected IRA D Company flags on the Falls Road Jobs and Benefits office in west Belfast.

Mr McCoubrey said: "This is a Government building. Flags promoting a terrorist organisation should not be on the building or within its curtilage.

"The flags are a disgrace in and of themselves, but to erect them on Government property is nothing more than an attempt to antagonise and intimidate. I will certainly work to ensure the flags are removed."

It follows a recent row over similar IRA flags erected outside the Millfield campus of Belfast Metropolitan College.

Sinn Fein councillor Niall O'Donnghaile tweeted a picture outside the jobs office on Sunday with a caption: 'Patriot dead families receive the salute from the Easter Guard of Honour'.

Elsewhere, DUP MLA Peter Weir said he was "shocked and dismayed" after claiming Mr O'Donnghaile left a tribute to republican hero Casement at a U-boat gun beside a war memorial in Ward Park, Bangor.

"This is a disgraceful stunt. I am glad to say that the memorial notice was quickly removed but it should never have been there. It was a provocative act which ran the risk of stirring up tension," Mr Weir said.

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