Flags and emblems on bonfire condemned by Derry councillor John Boyle

A Derry councillor has condemned the placing of flags and images on an August 15 bonfire in the Bogside.

SDLP Councillor John Boyle, who represents the Moor District Electoral Area (DEA) where the bonfire is located, said the display did not represent the local community.

Among the items witnessed on the pyre on the site of the former Meenan Square were an image of Elizabeth II of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, a representation of a RUC landrover, and a number of union flags.

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Councillor Boyle said: “The placing of these images and flags on the bonfire in Derry is disgraceful and I condemn it in the strongest possible terms. Those behind this bonfire do not speak for the people of the Bogside who want to live in peace with their neighbours."

John Boyle
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He referred to the display of flags in the Waterside at the weekend.

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Colr. Boyle said it was 'extremely disappointing' just days after the display of Parachute Regiment and paramilitary flags in the Waterside that unionist flags and emblems were now set for immolation in the Bogside.

"While I understand the hurt and pain that has caused people, reacting in kind serves nobody. People who wish to celebrate and commemorate elements of their culture and traditions should always aim to do so in a non-confrontational way without seeking to offend or upset anyone else. The past few days have shown that as a society we still have work to do in order to move forward as one," he said.

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Senior republican Gerry Kelly has said there is a responsibility on organisers of August bonfires to ensure there are no displays of hate.

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Sinn Féin's policing spokesperson said: “There is an onus on the organisers of the small number of August 15 bonfires to ensure they pass off peacefully and without displays of hatred.

“There can be no repeat of the images on some loyalist bonfires in July which were blatant displays of hate and sectarianism.

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“There is no place for the burning of flags, posters and effigies on bonfires anywhere in our society.

“Anyone involved in the organisation of these bonfires should ensure that is the case.”

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