Lavery calls for removal of "paramilitary flags" as TUV ask Alliance: 'Who do they think they are?'

Lavery calls for removal of "paramilitary flags" as TUV ask Alliance: 'Who do they think they are?'

One of the flags Cllr Lavery spoke about, located outside Toberhewney Hall in Lurgan.

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An Alliance councillor has condemned the erection of what he termed “paramilitary flags” in Lurgan.

Cllr Peter Lavery’s comments come 48 hours after the party complained to the PSNI about the erection of bunting in Lurgan town centre.

They said they were concerned after being notified forklifts were creating a traffic hazard and bunting was being erected without permission from the landowner, but police said “no offences were detected”.

Cllr Lavery says that the “paramilitary flags” have appeared at the Avenue Road entrance to Lurgan Park, as well as UVF flags at Toberhewney Lodge and at Lakeview Meadow.

However, one loyalist pointed out the flags, which bare the UVF name, are dated 1912 and commemorate the sacrifice of the 36th Ulster Division.

Cllr Lavery says they have been reported to the authorities and called for them to be removed urgently.

“I hope all local representatives will condemn them also,” he added.

“It’s particularly sinister that most have been put up at the entrances to mixed housing developments and near Lurgan Park in a clear attempt to mark territory and intimidate local residents.

“Lurgan is a fast growing, inclusive town where everyone should be able to live and work in peace. I will continue to work for a better future for Lurgan.”

The PSNI have been contacted for comment.

Meanwhile, TUV representative Darrin Foster said the fact that Alliance representatives reported loyalists to the PSNI for erecting red, white and blue bunting in Lurgan would “serve only to inflame community tensions in the run up to the Twelfth”.

He added, “Who do Alliance think they are? Making a complaint to the police about traditional bunting going up, as it has done for generations, would be laughable were it not for the fact that the crypto-nationalist party responsible holds the Justice Ministry.

“Understandably the PSNI have said that no offence was detected. Tellingly, despite this, Alliance has doubled down on making the complaint; laughably citing safety concerns.

“It seems that the party which likes to preach to us all about the need for tolerance and respect shows neither when it comes to expressions of loyalist and British culture.”

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