Frazer urged to keep flag protest out of Dublin

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Wille Frazer has been urged not to take three bus loads of loyalists to Dublin this weekend as part of the continuing flag protests.

The Protestant victims’ campaigner has said he will travel to the Republic’s capital to draw attention to the ongoing anger at the decision by Belfast City Council to reduce the number of days the Union flag flies.

But Fianna Fáil Justice spokesman Niall Collins TD called on Mr Frazer to rethink his decision.

Mr Collins said: “I respect everyone’s right to engage in peaceful protest. However, I believe that Willie Frazer’s stated intention to take three busloads of loyalist protestors to Dublin this weekend is ill-judged and I would call on him to rethink the plan.

“It appears that Mr Frazer will lead the protest at Dáil Éireann to draw attention to unhappiness at the decision of Belfast City Council to only fly the British flag at Belfast City Council on designated days. Unfortunately, people in the Republic are only too aware of the issue following a month of sustained disorder on the streets of Belfast and the depressing media images that have accompanied the disorder.

“We are also aware of the disorder that came to our own streets following Mr Frazer’s last such adventure – his ‘Love Ulster’ demonstration in 2006.”

Mr Collins pointed out that the Tricolour does not fly at the Dublin Parliament building on a daily basis.

“Mr Frazer appears to be proceeding on the mistaken belief that the national flag is flown at Leinster House on a continuous basis. In fact, it only flies when the Dáil or Seanad are sitting,” he said.

“If Mr Frazer has a coherent case to make on the issue of flags, he should make it in a mature and responsible way. I would be happy to facilitate a meeting with him to discuss any issue. However, I do not believe that a disruptive loyalist protest outside an empty Leinster House on a busy retail day in Dublin City Centre will advance his case in any way.

“In fact, I am confident it will serve only to further alienate a population already struggling to understand the disgraceful scenes in Belfast over the last month.”