'Soldier F' banners: Sinn Fein calls on council to consider legal action to get them taken down

One of the banners carrying the Parachute Regiment insignia was erected across the Lisburn Road in south Belfast. Pic: Press Eye
One of the banners carrying the Parachute Regiment insignia was erected across the Lisburn Road in south Belfast. Pic: Press Eye
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Sinn Fein has called for a special meeting of Belfast City Council to discuss the possibility of taking legal action to compel the Department for Infrastructure to remove banners that have been erected in support of 'Soldier F' and the Parachute Regiment.

Banners displaying the Parachute Regiment insignia and messages of support for 'Soldier F' - the former paratrooper who is due to go on trial over the deaths of two civilians in Londonderry on Bloody Sunday - and other British soldiers in general have appeared in town's and villages across Northern Ireland in recent months.

The erection of the flags and banners has proven contentious in some areas, including Belfast's Lisburn Road, with many nationalist and republican politicians calling for them to be taken down.

Now a Sinn Fein councillor has suggested that Belfast City Council could take legal action to force the Department for Infrastructure to remove the banners from lampposts.

Sinn Féin request special meeting to discuss taking injunction on offensive flags and banners

Having requested that a special meeting of the council be convened next week to discuss taking legal action to compel the department to take action, Sinn Féin Councillor Ciaran Beattie said: "The erection of offensive and provocative banners supporting the British Parachute Regiment and 'Soldier F,' the former British soldier facing murder charges in connection with Bloody Sunday, across Belfast and throughout the North have caused widespread hurt.

"Many of these flags and banners are attached to lampposts which are the property of the Department for Infrastructure.

"We have requested a special meeting of Belfast City Council be convened Monday ahead of the full council meeting to discuss taking an injunction against the Department for Infrastructure calling on the department to remove these controversial flags."

The Black Mountain representative added: "In other areas where these flags and banners have been put up the local council has taken a united position calling for their removal.

"Hopefully this will be a step towards the removal of these offensive flags and banners across our city."