Illegal flags raising tensions, says SDLP


SDLP North Belfast MLA Alban Maginness has said that the erection of “intimidating and illegal” flags across North Belfast continues to raise tensions ahead of the 12 July.

Mr Maginness said he has been contacted by a number of people over recent weeks and months who are “extremely concerned” about the display of “intimidating and in some cases illegal flags” across north Belfast.

The MLA said: “Only today I spoke to members of staff at the Mater hospital who are worried about the erection of several enormous union flags and red hand flags outside their place of work. It is unacceptable that those working, visiting sick relatives or seeking treatment at a hospital feel uncomfortable and have a chilling experience.

“I have also been contacted by residents who have expressed their deep fear following the appearance of illegal UDA flags near the Crumlin road and in other parts of the city. The presence of these flags is utterly unacceptable and must be challenged by all political representatives.”

He has spoken to the PSNI and will be raising the paramilitary flags also, he added.