Call to remove Union flag at church

Published Monday, 07 July 2014
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There have been calls to remove a Union flag which has been erected in the grounds of a Catholic church in Dervock.

Call to remove Union flag at church
Councillor McShane criticised 'police inactivity' on the night the flag went up. (© Pacemaker)

Independent councillor for the area Padraig McShane said the flag was put up last Wednesday on a telegraph pole at the Church of Our Lady and St John the Evangelist in the Co Antrim village.

Police spoke to youths erecting flags that night but no arrests were made.

Mr McShane said: "There's a select minority that are engaged in this but the majority of this community want nothing to do with it.

"I'm well aware of police inactivity on the night and of those that were present."

Police said officers on a routine patrol in Dervock spoke to a number of youths were erecting flags in the Knock Road area last Wednesday.

Officers are also aware that kerb stones have been painted but said no complaint was made.

A spokesperson for the PSNI said: "Police are not treating this as a hate incident as no complaint of this character has been made to police".

He went on to explain: "The removal of flags is not the responsibility of the PSNI and police can only act to remove flags where there are substantial risks to public safety.

"Until the 'Joint Protocol in Relation to the Display of Flags in Public Areas' is updated, the Police Service of Northern Ireland will continue to work with communities and respond to any issue where there is a concern for public safety or where it is believed a criminal offence has occurred.

"The experience within policing shows that the approach most likely to provide for public safety and prevention of disorder is based on the principles of engagement between local communities working with agencies including local police and resulting in local decision-making."

© UTV News
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15 Comments
Ryan in An Dun wrote (134 days ago):
This is done outside a lot of catholic church's in the North. This is done the same way tri colours are burnt on 11th night bonfires. The same as the posters of election candidates being thrown on bonfires. Catholic symbols and pictures of dead Catholics burnt. Anti catholic songs sang at bonfires. Is this the culture they are celebrating? It's not enough to celebrate their culture, they have to ram it down the throats of people that don't want anything to do with it.
Snowy in Ardoyne, Ireland wrote (138 days ago):
What sort of people fly flags from a place of worship? UNBELIEVABLE.
Paddymac in Doire wrote (138 days ago):
You are showing disrespect to the union flag.I would never display my Irish flag to insult my fellow countrymen.Shame on you..
j in Belfast in Belfast wrote (138 days ago):
men of the area go up and take it down. If there's a confrontation then there's your issue for public safety hence psni can remove it
Joe in Co Down wrote (138 days ago):
Well said Martin McGuinness cant have one rule for one community and another one for the other. PSNI have to take down this flag.
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