West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Strabane Sinn Féin accuses DUP councillor of bare faced hypocrisy over support for flag protests

Published: 21 December, 2012

Sinn Féin has accused Strabane DUP Councillor John Donnell of bare faced hypocrisy after he declared his support for those engaged in loyalist flag protests locally while at the same time seeking to have Donegal football team flags removed from the Tinnies sculptures in the town. Strabane Sinn Fein Councillor Jay Mc Cauley said, "Within Council, John Donnell has been attempting to make a big issue of a Donegal football team flags that have been on the Tinnies since our neighbouring County lifted the Sam Maguire in September claiming them to be offensive. "Yet he doesn't see the contradiction in this stance and his declared support in the local media this week for loyalist flag protests that have been taking place locally and his support for a demand for the Union Jack to be flown from Belfast City Hall 365 days a year despite the fact that it goes against the democratic wishes of the majority of the people of the City as reflected in the vote of the majority of their elected councillors. "In adopting this stance John Donnell, like the rest of political unionism, is in complete denial of the changed political realities and that the GFA legislates for equality and that the days of imposing and flaunting British flags and emblems were they are not wanted are long gone. "The loyalist flag protests that John Donnell gives his support have already seen the blocking of the main A5 road on a number of occasions this week at New Buildings and Ballymagorry leading to many people being prevented from going about their business in this the busy lead up to Christmas. "Local Sinn Féin representatives have been inundated this morning about the antics of Union Jack bedecked loyalists in Ballymagorry last night who, while not directly blocking the road, brought traffic to a continual standstill by continually pressing the pedestrian button at the traffic lights in the village. Many people had to turn back while others felt very intimidated at being stalled alongside these protesters some of whom had their faces covered. "People are rightly asking why the PSNI have allowed this main arterial route to be blocked this week and the question must be asked if the same approach would be adopted if the shoe was on the other foot. "Similarly, if the A5 was being blocked by republicans and nationalists John Donnell would undoubtedly be screaming from the high heavens so his tacit support for these disruptive loyalist flag protests shows once again duplicity of political unionism on this issue."