Flag-flying tension in Limavady

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Sinn Fein councillors claim the flying of Union Jacks outside their Limavady office and next to their election posters around the town is “an attack on the democratic process”.

Sinn Fein posters placed around the town have been splattered with paint.

The discovery was made yesterday prior to an Apprentice Boys’ parade, which attracted a huge crowd of supporters.

Sinn Fein councillor, Cathal O’hOisin, said the actions were an attack on democracy.

“I call on unionist politicians and the organisers of such parades to stand up and say, ‘This is not acceptable’. I also understand there was a systematic removal of my posters after I visited Limavady in the morning.”

Mr. O’hOisin said he was “disappointed” the perpetrators felt the need to “disfigure” his election posters. “This was a blatant disregard for the electoral process by those who felt they could not parade past them as they stood at that time,” he said. “We’ve had complaints about campaign literature being vandalised before, but this is something more sinister.”

Sinn Fein Colr. Anne Brolly said if people want to put up a flag in an area where it is welcome, “we have no problem with that, but the flag must be respected”.

“If whoever put the flag up putside our office wants to forge an alliance or get closer to Sinn Fein we welcome that,” she said. “Of course we don’t know if that was the intention, but if it was, we welcome it.”

Colr. Brolly called on those who erected the bunting for the parade to remove it immediately and respect the community’s right for a “neutral environment”.

DUP Limavady council election candidate, James McCorkell, said he condemned the interference of all election posters and literature and urged people to leave election material alone.