PSNI: Theft of two Union Flags flying for Prince Philip are hate crime

Concerns have been raised by unionists after Union Flags flying out of respect to Prince Philip were torn down from two Co Antrim Orange Halls.

Sunday, 18th April 2021, 4:53 pm
Updated Sunday, 18th April 2021, 6:25 pm
The flag pole where the Union Flag was removed at Dunloy Orange Hall.

Unionists say the flags were stolen from Dunloy Orange Hall and Garryduff Independent Orange Hall at Ballymoney.

North Antrim MLA and TUV leader Jim Allister said: “The theft of two flags erected as a mark of respect during the period of national mourning for HRH Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh from Dunloy Orange Hall and Garryduff Independent Orange Hall is a gross act of disrespect and criminality.”

DUP Alderman John Finlay said he was “totally disgusted” about the Union Flag being stolen from Dunloy Orange Hall.

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“In honour of Prince Philip on the day of his funeral, and at a time of national mourning, we hoisted the Union Flag at half-mast on Dunloy Orange Hall, but this act of respect to a great man was too much for Republican thugs who have now torn it down,” he said.

The PSNI said they are investigating reports of the theft of flags at Dunloy on Saturday just after 2:30pm and at Glarryford between 9:30am on Friday and 9am on Saturday. They are treating both as “sectarian motivated hate crimes”. Dunloy Orange Hall flag pole was also cut down and taken, police said. Officers attended the scene to make further enquiries yesterday.

Police have asked anyone with information to ring 101 citing ref 1186 April 17 for Dunloy and 1235 April 18 for Glarryford.

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