Belfast Telegraph

Respect works both ways, says DUP over criticism of councillors at burning of Irish flag on bonfire

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

By Eimear McGovern

The DUP said Sinn Fein is not in a position to lecture after the party was criticised for its members attending a bonfire where an Irish flag was seen on top of the burning pyre.

Councillor Margaret Tinsley of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Council attended the bonfire in Edenderry in Portadown in her own personal capacity, the party said.

A photo taken of the deputy mayor and her husband, Alderman James Tinsley from Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council, showed them posing in front of the bonfire.

"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," said the spokeswoman.

"Respect for each other’s culture works both ways. Both communities should work to express culture in a dignified way.”

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."

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

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