‘Pointedly offensive’ Para flag taken down

Londonderry MP Mark Durkan had said the flying of a the flag at the interface between the mainly unionist Fountain Estate and the mainly nationalist Bishop Street in Londonderry was “pointedly offensive.”

The local MP said: “Whatever justification people might feel about flying other flags, displaying the flag of the parachute regiment in this city is deliberately offensive.”

Between 1971 and 1972 the Regiment killed 27 innocent civilians in Ballymurphy, the Bogside and on the Shankill.

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In turn, the Regiment lost over two dozen men during the course of the Troubles with the worst loss of life occurring at Warrenpoint in 1979 when 18 soldiers were murdered by the IRA. The erection of the flag came just days before the 41st anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

“A provocative display like this can only cause distress and anxiety to the people of the Fountain as well as upset in the wider community,” said Mr Durkan.

He added: “I hope that wiser community counsel will prevail and these emblems will be removed to avert the obvious dangers.

“Such pointedly offensive deployment of this regimental flag brings no validity to anyone’s position on other flags or emblems.”

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