Fears over UVF tribute banner at Dungannon Primary School

There have been calls to remove a banner glorifying UVF gunman Wesley Somerville that has been raised outside a Dungannon Primary School.

The banner, which includes an image of two armed and masked men with the words: “Mid Ulster Brigade UVF, Moygashel. In memory of our fallen volunteers”, was put up on a lamp-post in Moygashel beside Howard Primary School.

SDLP Councillor Denise Mullen, whose father was murdered by the notorious Glenanne gang, which included Somerville, has asked for the PSNI to remove the flag.

She said that she was deeply concerned by the flag’s proximity to the school.

“It’s very sad to see where the flag is positioned. This is about incitement of hatred and naturally children will ask what does the flag mean. If we are ever to move on in our country we need to get away from this sort of tribute to the past.

“It’s the source of a lot of trans-generational pain and hatred.”

The SDLP representative also raised her concerns about the proliferation of flags around the Linen Green retail complex and the negative effect on local businesses.

Ms Mullen’s father Denis (36), an SDLP activist, was shot dead at his home near Moy in Co Tyrone in September 1975.

The gang, which involved members of the RUC, UDR and UVF, is believed to have killed up to 120 people.

Although she escaped uninjured, her mother was also targeted by the killers, whose gun had been used a month earlier to murder three members of the Miami Showband near Banbridge.

Somerville died with fellow loyalist Harris Boyle as they placed a bomb on a minibus carrying the band which exploded prematurely. Ms Mullen said the flag had caused her a lot of pain. “This is a glorification of the gun that was used 13 times on my mother.”