Sinn Féin MLA Cathal Ó hOisín has accused those who erected Union flags along the route of a St Patrick’s Day parade of attempting to raise tensions in Limavady.
Mr. Ó hOisín said: “On Thursday night 21 unionist flags were erected along the Edenmore and Scroogy Roads which is also part of the route of the St Patrick’s Day parade. I believe that this was an attempt to heighten tensions in the town ahead of the parade.
“Over the past few years the St Patrick’s Day parade organisers have been working towards making the parade more inclusive and family orientated and those who erected the flags are attempting to undo this work.
“The flags issue has been one of contention in the Limavady area over the past few years and while nationalists have moved towards a voluntary agreement on the flying of flags this has not been reciprocated by sections of the Unionist community.
“I am calling on Unionist political and community leaders to work towards having these flags removed and join with the rest of the community in making St Patrick’s Day in Limavady a place where everyone can feel they can participate and enjoy the festival no matter what political or religious persuasion they hold.”
One resident of Edenmore Road said the flags made the town look a disgrace.
“It makes the town look cheap and dirty and it’s a disgrace. It’s like a shanty town. No flags should be flown. I’d also like to know who is liable if a child gets an infection from the grease that is on the poles where the flags are flown. I think if you asked 90 per cent of the people in this town nobody would want any flags up, no Tricolours or Union flags.”