Belfast Telegraph

Break-in probe after flags erected on Rathfriland water tower

Flags have been erected on the top of a water tower in Rathfriland. Credit: Chris Hazzard
Flags have been erected on the top of a water tower in Rathfriland. Credit: Chris Hazzard
Mark Edwards

By Mark Edwards

Police are investigating after a water tower in Rathfriland was broken into and Union and Northern Ireland flags erected on top of it.

NI Water, who owns the tower, confirmed the break-in has been reported to the PSNI after the flags were put up without permission.

It is believed the outer wall of the facility was scaled and the strengthened lock to the tower's inner steel access door was cut open.

NI Water said specialist equipment would have been required to carry this out.

"NI Water is liaising with the PSNI. We are also organising for repairs to the door to take place and the safe removal of the flags," the spokesperson said.  

"NI Water is willing to engage with local political and community representatives in relation to this issue.”

A PSNI spokesperson said police received a report of flags being erected and damage being caused to a water tower in the Rathfriland area and said enquiries are ongoing.

Sinn Fein MP Chris Hazzard said: "NI Water have questions to answer about how this was allowed to happen, and I will be raising those questions directly with senior management.

“Rathfriland is a mixed town and this display was clearly intended to mark out territory and intimidate.

"It was erected for the Twelfth and still no action has been taken to remove it. That is entirely unacceptable.

"NI Water is a public body, and this is a publicly owned building. They need to ensure this display is removed and steps are taken to ensure there is no repeat.”

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