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Flag protest as Donegal holiday park vows to keep Union Flag flying high

By Leona O'Neill

A Donegal holiday village owner insists he will keep flying the Union flag from his property after he was inundated with complaints.

Brendan Rohan (64), a retired senior officer in the Irish Defence Forces, owns the popular Dunfanaghy Holiday Village at Corcreggan Mill.

British tourists make up more than half his guests, and when they stay he hoists the flag in their honour, but this hasn't gone down well with many northerners who visit the county.

The holiday accommodation, which boasts a B&B, apartments, bedrooms in a 150-year-old railway carriage, motorhome and caravan park, camping and glamping, is situated outside the north Donegal seaside village on the road to Falcarragh.

Its Facebook page was inundated with angry comments this week when the flag was erected in honour of a visiting couple who were celebrating a milestone birthday.

One poster said he considered the act extremely provocative.

"It's an insult - especially to those who continue to live under British imperialism in the six counties, just a few miles away from where this site is - to fly a flag soaked in the blood of millions of Irish people," he said.

Another enraged man said: "Ireland fought long and hard to have this rag removed and the fight continues in the six counties, many a man and woman fought and died in the process, the owner, a Donegal native, should know better!"

Another said that "for the sake of a few shillings you have sold your soul. Shame on you. I will be encouraging everyone I know to boycott your premises", and called on the owner to remove the flag and make a public apology.

But Mr Rohan said he will do no such thing and that he will continue to celebrate his guests' culture by displaying the Union flag whenever he chooses.

"This is not the first time I have flown the Union flag and it wont be the last," he said.

"I am in the hospitality business.

"At this stage, 60% of my guests are British people who are flocking to Donegal, which is wonderful.

"I think that by flying the Union flag here it demonstrates the new maturity of the Republic, especially if it's a Union flag, as on this occasion.

"This week I have had phone calls and email messages from people who are annoyed about the sight of the flag on my property. I say to them, if you feel insulted by that flag, you need to look at why you feel insulted. I fly flags out of respect and for fun. Today, 80% of my guests are English, so I will fly their flag.

"I am passionate about a united Ireland by agreement. And I think that will only happen when the unionists in the north recognise that we as a nation have finally matured and they choose to unite with us."

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