Anger after flags erected outside Catholic church

There has been condemnation after '˜loyalist flags' were erected outside a Catholic church in Newtownabbey.
St Mary Star of the Sea. Pic by Google.St Mary Star of the Sea. Pic by Google.
St Mary Star of the Sea. Pic by Google.

It is understood a number of Ulster banners have been placed on lampposts close to St Mary Star of the Sea Church in Whitehouse.

A Rathcoole resident contacted the Times to voice concerns about the development.

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The resident said: “Around eight loyalist flags have been erected facing the chapel. There are no other flags in the area, just outside the chapel.

“As a unionist, I am disgusted. I can see no reason behind the flags going up on February 1 other than to intimidate and antagonise. It is wrong.”

Commenting on the issue, Cllr Billy Webb said: “It’s a mystery to me as to why flags would be going up at this time of the year in this area.

“I don’t know what the rationale behind it is. There is no logic to it. There is nothing being celebrated, that I know of.”

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The Alliance representative added: “There is no need at this time of the year without any celebration, in the near future even, why flags should be erected. I have contacted council to find out what action can be taken.

“I’d call on whoever is erecting these to think again as to what the rationale is behind erecting them at this time of the year.”

When contacted about the matter, a PSNI spokesperson said: “Police have not received any complaints at this stage.”