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Loyalist Flags in Armagh Mall undermines good community relations

30 June, 2008

Sinn Féin Mayor of Armagh City and District Council Noel Sheridan has said the flying of Loyalist UVF and UDA flags and emblems on the Mall in Armagh City has disgusted and angered many.

Cllr Sheridan said:

"I have been approached by a number of residents about the Loyalist flags on the Mall, they have all expressed their disgust that emblems of organisations which have been responsible for the deaths of innocence people are being allowed to remain on display in one of the most beautiful areas of the city.

"Indeed some traders in the City pointed out that they were served with enforcement notices to remove advertisements from the same polls within 21 days or face being taken to court, but yet these emblems festooned in the area are allowed to remain to the detriment of their businesses."

The Mayor went on to say that the Mall was a shared space which all sides of the community enjoyed.

He added:

"Substantial amounts of Rate payer's money is used to maintain what is regarded as one of the most celebrated areas of any Town or City in Ireland. As Mayor I have pledged to play my part in promoting good relations. We all have our part to play to end the divisions and old hatreds, not only here in Armagh City and District but throughout our island. That means pro-actively tackling the scourge of sectarianism.

"Difference in our past meant division, in the future we need to ensure that difference isn't seen as a threat but instead as something to cherish and celebrate. I will be ensuring that the Council actively promotes a Good Relations policy."

Cllr Sheridan also confirmed that he would be asking the Council to contact the PSNI and Roads Service to request the removal of the offensive Loyalist killer gang flags and emblems.

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