Call for talks on ‘difficult’ flags issue

Flags on the Edenmore Road, Limavady. (2806PG11)
Flags on the Edenmore Road, Limavady. (2806PG11)

More than half a dozen Edenmore Road residents attended Limavady Council this week to hear from councillors debating the issue of flags along their road.

Sinn Fein councillor Brenda Chivers stressed: “We are not trying to raise tension. We are simply doing what we are supposed to do as elected representatives”.

Colr. Chivers, who’d been contacted by a concerned Edenmore Road resident, appealed to councillors to engage in talks, adding: “I am pleading with you”.

TUV Colr. Boyd Douglas said he would not be sitting down with nationalists and claimed “the nationlists are to blame for this” after the decision to no longer fly the Union flag outside the Council.

“Nationalists caused this problem and if they don’t accept this it won’t be solved,” said Colr. Douglas.

Sinn Fein’s Sean McGlinchey referred to Dungiven which he said used to be “a disgrace” concerning flags but, after local representatives worked with those erecting flags, agreement had been reached in the community.

“No matter what flag it is, it shouldn’t be used or abused by anyone,” added Colr. McGlinchey.

SDLP Colr. Michael Coyle claimed there were two reasons for the flags being erected along the Edenmore Road - marking out territory and criminal activity- and said his party supported talks to resolve what he called a “very difficult situation”. SDLP Colr. Gerry Mullan suggested writing to the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister to see what resources could be used.

DUP Colr. James McCorkell referred to a meeting about the matter involving the PSNI scheduled for Wednesday and said he was “pretty confident of a breakthrough”.

Sinn Fein’s Anne Brolly urged unionists to talk to those involved in erecting flags, and asked why flags were in certain areas of the town and not others. Councillors agreed to write to the OFMDFM; and arrange a meeting with residents.