‘Provocative’ Irish language sign is said to be raising tensions in development where flags are emblems are forbidden in deeds

A resident of Dundrum in South Down says the erection of bilingual Irish sign is raising tensions in a development he had chosen because he wanted to raise his children in a mixed environment.

Saturday, 27th November 2021, 4:00 am
Updated Saturday, 27th November 2021, 1:17 pm

The resident told the News Letter he moved into Castleglen development because he wanted his children to live in a “neutral” area.

“It is a mixed village and everybody gets on well together, we looked after each other well during lockdown,” said the resident, who asked that his name be withheld.

“But there are a small number of republicans who are determined to stir up tensions and this could provoke some people to react. The Roman Catholic people I know in the development are not happy with these signs.

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A resident has complained about the erection of bi-lingual signs in Castleglen Park in Dundrum.

“The problem is that Castleglen Park is the entrance to the rest of the development. So the whole development is being labelled and we have to drive through this to get to our own area. But I am sure if they had surveyed the whole development the signs would have been rejected.”

South Down TUV Chairman Ross Holmes said that the deeds of the development stipulate that displaying flags or emblems is not permitted.

“Yet the irony is the council have just erected a provocative sign that doesn’t represent unionists or comply with the rules of the development,” he said.

“What is the real motivation behind this sign being placed at the entrance of the development, is it to alienate and discourage any unionist from living there?” he asked.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council responded that it received a request from a resident of Castleglen Park for the sign. It said that said a majority of residents in the park supported the change, which was approved by the council in October 2019 and was Equality Screened.

Sinn Féin Councillor Roisin Howell said: “The Irish language belongs to us all and threatens no one and neither does bilingual signage. This is a typically misinformed and hysterical rant from the TUV.”

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