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DUP stands by at sickening display in Ahoghill

12 July, 2006


North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Philip McGuigan has expressed his disgust after flags were erected on bonfires across the Ballymena area referring to Michael McIlveen, a Catholic victim of a sectarian attack in the area. At a bonfire in Ahoghill a flag at the top of a bonfire said: "Fuck Mickey Bo". Similar flags were seen in Ballymena including one at a bonfire next to Harryville Chapel that said: "Mickey Bo RIP".

Mr McGuigan said:

"Local people are horrified at what can only be described as a barbaric display at bonfires across the Ballymena area tonight.

"The family of this young man have gone through enough this year already without having to hear about these sectarian displays of hatred directed toward their son. How could these flags have been permitted to be put up in the Ballymena area? Where is the leadership from Unionist politicians to prevent this happening? These are questions that nationalists, and indeed many unionists want the DUP to answer.

Local Sinn Féin Councillor Monica Digney continued:

"It is clear that Roy Gillespie and other DUP representatives in this area haven't lifted a finger to get these flags removed or use their influence in any way. Indeed Cllr Gillespie was seen helping to build a bonfire in Ahoghill in the middle of the day and did not do anything to remove the flag referring to Michael McIlveen which he undoubtedly would have seen.

"Yet again the DUP has done nothing as the town of Ahoghill is again portrayed as the most intolerant and bigoted village in the north. The attacks and forcing out of Catholic families in Ahoghill last year clearly hasn't made one iota of difference." ENDS

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