“Outrageous and provcative display of republican emblems” in Rasharkin

DUP councillor John Finlay.
DUP councillor John Finlay.

DUP Alderman, John Finlay, has condemned the display of around 40 Irish tricolours and other republican flags in Rasharkin.

Alderman Finlay said: “In recent days, we have been bombarded with endless media coverage of the centenary of the Easter Rising and much has been made of how those who engaged in that rebellion wanted to create a non-sectarian independent Ireland. We also hear much about how republicans today want reconciliation with their unionist neighbours. Sadly, there was little sign of any of that at the Easter Rising events held in Northern Ireland. Instead, we witnessed several displays of hate-filled and sectarian triumphalism directed against the Protestant and Unionist community.

“An example of this was in the village of Rasharkin over the Easter weekend, where militant republicanism once again showed its ugly face and raised community tensions. Around forty Irish tricolours and other republican emblems, some of them illegal, were erected on lampposts, and one was placed directly outside the Presbyterian Church. Members of the Apprentice Boys walked past these flags as they paraded through the village on Easter Monday morning.

“I can imagine the outcry if Union Flags had been erected in this way and one placed outside the Roman Catholic Church, so I am calling on nationalist and republican leaders, who say they are opposed to sectarianism, to condemn this outrageous and provocative display of republican emblems. I also call upon the PSNI to take action.”