Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs Jnr has welcomed the decision to remove the paramilitary flags near a place of worship in Carrickfergus following expressions of concern, and called for common sense to be shown over the proliferation of paramilitary linked flags.
The local MLA said, “The vast majority of the local population in East Antrim have concerns about the flying of paramilitary flags. They are not acceptable anywhere- including near schools and churches of whatever denomination. My office has received a number of complaints in recent days from concerned local residents.
We should recognise that there has been steady progress in re-imaging paramilitary murals and improving community relation by reducing the display of paramilitary flags.
However, it is such a pity at a time of Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee visit to Northern Ireland that police time and resources are wasted over this issue. It is not realistic to expect police officers or Roads Service workers to be climbing up dozens of lamposts around the town removing some flags. The solution is that those who put them up should see sense and take them down again. I welcome some positive moves in that that direction in recent days. These sorts of issues merely cause annoyance, damage the local economy, deter investment and put Carrickfergus into the headlines for all the wrong reasons.”