The following letter appeared in the County Down Spectator on Thursday 22 June 2017
I write in
relation to the recent erection of flags for illegal terrorist organisations
such as UDA, UFF, UVF and Red Hand Commandos. Erected with seeming ease across
North Down the flags now fly from lampposts across as our Borough providing a
blatant challenge to the Rule of Law.
overwhelming majority of law abiding citizens across North Down I am fed up
seeing paramilitary flags, insignia and murals erected and want them
gone, for good along with all paramilitary organisations of whatever shade.
Over 22 years
after the ceasefires these proscribed paramilitary organisations plus their
Republican counterparts should have long since gone away but rather than
packing up and standing down they have chosen to yet again mark out territory
and remind us of their menacing presence with apparent impunity.
At times like
this it incumbent for all in political life to speak about against this
activity and call for the immediate removal of such, whether by those who
erected the flags or by statutory agencies, with the support of the Police.
Thus far the DUP
locally have been silent on the matter. Not one elected representative has
called for removal despite repeated calls. I would therefore urge the DUP
locally to break their silence on the matter and join me as an important first
step in calling for the immediate removal of all paramilitary flags without
equivocation or the usual reference concerning the need to give these
organisations space to complete their journey. The time for journeys has long since