Belfast Telegraph

Limavady flags protocol must include other towns: Campbell

Donna Deeney

By Donna Deeney

East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell has welcomed a call from Sinn Fein for an agreed protocol for flags in Limavady - but said it should be extended to include other towns in the constituency.

This week the Belfast Telegraph reported on heightened tensions between the two communities in the Co Londonderry town.

Various areas in the town have seen tribal marking of either red, white and blue or green, white and orange appearing.

Ill feelings have escalated since Wednesday night when it is understood police prevented a group of loyalists from removing Irish tricolours from lamp-posts.

Earlier the same day, Department for Infrastructure contractors stopped removing red, white and blue paint from a roundabout at the gateway to Limavady after a number of people arrived and began to film the workers.

Sinn Fein MLA Caoimhe Archibald said: "There has been a steady increase in the number of flags, including paramilitary flags, being erected over recent weeks.

"Kerbstones have also been painted either red, white and blue or green, white and orange. None of that is helpful.

"It is only about marking out territory and has led to an increase in tensions in the town.

"I will be seeking a united approach from all political parties towards a de-escalation of the situation. There should be proper agreed protocols in place regarding the flying of flags and I would appeal to political unionism to engage in establishing this."

Mr Campbell said he would be fully behind such a protocol so long as it was extended to Dungiven where there are a number of republican emblems on display.

"One thing that Caoimhe Archibald doesn't seem to have addressed is the fact that there are issues in local towns which require addressing," he said.

"If there is a willingness to address those issue in the towns of Dungiven as well as Limavady then not only am I up for it, but I have been suggesting such a process be put in place for the past number of years.

"In Dungiven there is a memorial to murder beside the Church of Ireland on Main Street which is intolerable.

"If this is Caoimhe Archibald saying there are a number of issues that need to be addressed and we need to arrive at a protocol then I welcome that."

The Department for Infrastructure and the PSNI had not responded to a request for comment at the time of going to press.

Belfast Telegraph


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