Monday 24 April 2017

'Bring the flags down' - Tricolour at new housing estate condemned

The raising of Irish flags at a new social housing estate in an attempt to
The raising of Irish flags at a new social housing estate in an attempt to "intimidate" the unionist community has been condemned

Laura Abernethy

The raising of Irish flags at a new social housing estate in an attempt to "intimidate" the unionist community has been condemned.

The first residents moved into the new Felden site on the Mill Road in Newtownabbey earlier this month, and there have been concerns that Republicans are attempting to mark out their territory.

The 97 homes - due to be completed next April - are close to both the nationalist Longlands area and unionist White City.

The new development had been marketed as a "mixed community where people choose to live with others regardless of their race, religion or background in a neighbourhood that is safe and welcoming to all".

However in August, sinister graffiti appeared warning Protestants not to move in.

Sinn Fein councillor Michael Goodman condemned the flags.

"This is a shared site. It is being allocated on the basis of need regardless of where people come from... we would call on them to bring the flags down," he said.

Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson said that this is a problem that is growing on both sides of the community.

"This problem has not appeared overnight, with the act of using flags to intimidate others out of a shared space area becoming a regular sinister occurrence," he said.

Earlier this year, concerns were raised over the flying of loyalist flags in the new Kilynure estate in Carryduff.

Belfast Telegraph

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