SDLP south Belfast councillor Donal Lyons condemns flying of UDA flags near school

THE Erection of dozens of paramilitary flags in South Belfast in recent days shows that despite recent talk of flag protocols, there are some who continue to act as if they’re beyond the law.

Speaking after UDA flags were erected in his constituency, Cllr Donal Lyons said:

“There can be no purpose in hanging these flags other than to glorify the terrorist acts of the past, and claim control of an area in the present.

“They are put up by those who believe they are beyond the law.

“The fact that these UDA flags have been put up at the entrance to a primary school and outside the local community centre where young children will be forced to pass under them is particularly outrageous.

“There is no justification for these flags to be up and no reason that they should stay up.

“We’ve seen mixed signals coming from the DUP regarding flag protocols they claim to have negotiated in South Belfast.

“One thing the DUP have been keen to stress is that only ‘legal flags’ would be flown and while their south Belfast representatives have put forward various different definitions of what counts as legal, surely there can be no confusion about the flags of the UDA.

“There can be no pretence that the flag of the South Belfast brigade of the UDA is anything but a terrorist flag.

“The PSNI have indicated previously that they will not remove the flags due to a lack of political consensus.

“As we appear to have political agreement that paramilitary flags should not fly then surely we will see these flags being taken down?

“I believe that should happen immediately and would call on other parties in Balmoral to stick to their previously stated positions.”

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