MLA claims Ulster flags hurting Limavady traders
Ulster flags erected on lamp posts is harming trade in Limavady town centre and sending out a message that only one section of the community is welcome, it has been suggested.
A proposal for flags to be removed at the end of the summer appears to have been ignored - with numbers increasing on approach roads to Limavady from Londonderry.
East Londonderry SDLP MLA John Dallat said this is hurting business because shoppers are being deterred from coming into the town for Christmas shopping.
He said: "Unfortunately traders in Limavady are paying the price for these flags and I know so many people find them off-putting to the extent that they are staying away from the town.
"It isn't just people coming into Limavady who are talking about them, it is people who are patients of the Western Trust who have been sent to Limavady for appointments.
"People have spoken to me about their shock at every lamp post bedecked with a flag which they say makes them feel like only one section of the community is welcome."
Among those who want the flags removed is Dean McClelland, owner of fashion retailer Chaps Subzero, who said: "Personally I think the flags cheapen the town so much.
"That goes for both sides. I don't think there should be any flags at all."
He added: "It is hard enough to compete with larger towns and cities and the internet and those flags are making our life harder."