Erection of flags an act of intimidation - Kearney
Commenting on the continued collection of materials for a rogue bonfire at Dublin Road estate in Antrim Town, and the erection of large numbers of unionist flags in the vicinity, South Antrim MLA Declan Kearney has said:
"Hijacking this section of the Dublin Road estate and continuing to gather material to erect and burn a rogue bonfire violates the rights of rate payers and residents who live on the estate. This activity is compromising the local environment and ecosystem.
"Any bonfires should be regulated according to environmental, health and safety controls and with due regard and respect to the surrounding community. This rogue bonfire meets none of those standards.
"Claiming the right to celebrate any cultural tradition in our society should be totally conditional upon that being done with respect to the rights of others and without causing offence or giving disrespect.
"The decision to erect even more unionist flags around Dublin Road estate in reaction to the public spotlight bring placed upon this inexcusable behaviour is a clear act of intimidation.
"I have already written to NIHE about the materials for this rogue bonfire being placed on its land without any approval. I have now asked for a meeting with senior officials to establish exactly what NIHE intends to do to about the situation. Sinn Féin will also be seeking direct meetings with the other appropriate statutory agencies on this matter."