I condemn the recent appearance of Paramilitary Flags across Bangor and urge statutory bodies to step forward and agree a unified plan to ensure their removal. I have been contacted numerous times since the flags started appearing with many people appalled to see flags erected for illegal proscribed terrorist organisations.
I, along with many other people across North Down, am appalled to see flags erected for illegal proscribed terrorist organisations. The vast overwhelming majority of people across North Down are law abiding tolerant citizens who respect the Police Service of NI, abhor intimidation and criminality and want us to move forward away from the shadow of all paramilitary organisations, whether Loyalist or Republican. Support for terrorist organisations was never acceptable in the past and must never be tolerated today or in the future.
Rather than standing back whilst increased proliferation of such flags occurs, it’s vital that statutory bodies step forward and work together to agree a combined plan in order to ensure their removal. The current situation cannot continue with local people made to feel intimidated by the appearance of such flags and potential investors and visitors deterred from coming to the area. A clear protocol already exists from the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister and must be activated alongside use of the Terrorism Act, where appropriate, and unequivocal condemnation from all in political life. It is now time for all of us who believe in the rule of law to provide leadership against this sinister development.
Paramilitary Flags reflecting support for the UDA, UFF, Red Hand Commando and UVF have appeared in a number of areas including entrance to Conlig Village, Bangor’s Ring Road, Newtownards Road, Clandeboye Road, Balloo Road plus within many Housing Estates including Kilcooley and Rathgill.