Belfast Telegraph

DUP deputy mayor criticised after posing as tricolour burns

DUP Councillor Margaret Tinsley and Alderman James Tinsley
DUP Councillor Margaret Tinsley and Alderman James Tinsley

By Eimear McGovern

A DUP deputy mayor has been criticised after appearing in a photograph as the Irish tricolour burned on a bonfire in the background.

Councillor Margaret Tinsley of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Council was attending a bonfire in Edenderry in Portadown with her husband, Alderman James Tinsley from Lisburn and Castlereagh Council.

The Sinn Fein councillor for Lurgan Keith Haughian condemned the photo.

"It’s absolutely unacceptable that the Deputy Mayor and another DUP councillor posed for photos in front of a bonfire in Edenderry in which the Irish national flag was clearly being burned," he said.

“The Deputy Mayor is supposed to represent everyone in the borough, but glorifying this type of activity is deeply offensive to large sections of our society.

“Burning of flags, posters and effigies on bonfires is wrong and have been rightly described by the PSNI as hate crimes."

A spokesperson for the DUP has said "Cllr Margaret Tinsley attended the events in her own capacity and not as Deputy Mayor for Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon, with Alderman James Tinsley.

"The DUP have been clear in the past that culture is not the burning of flags or posters. SF are not in the position to lecture when it comes to commemorative events within their own community. Respect for each other’s culture works both ways. Both communities should work to express culture in a dignified way.”

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