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Council Committee refuses to discuss Magherafelt Union Flag

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Council Committee refuses to discuss Magherafelt Union Flag thumbnailThe incident in Magherafelt town centre when Mid-Ulster Council cut down a Union Flag erected by a local group. SC0757

NATIONALIST-controlled Mid-Ulster District Council's Policy and Resource Committee has refused to discuss the controversial removal of a Union Flag and flagpole from Magherafelt town centre.
A Union flag and flagpole was cut down by council officials less than 24 hours after its installation in February.
The unathorised flag pole was cut down by council appointed contractors using an angle grinder. The men were wearing high-visibility jackets and the scene was cordoned off by PSNI officers.
At the start of the committee meeting DUP Councillor Paul McLean referred to the removal of the flag and asked if this was the place to discuss the issue.
However, the Chair of the Committee, Councillor Phelim Gildernew advised that it wasn't an item on the Committee's agenda and as such would not be discussed that night.
The Chief Executive of the Council Anthony Tohill advised that members were free to raise issues at any point but this was at the discretion of the Chair. Although, he did suggest that as this was a "good relations" issue the Development Committee may be the best place to discuss the matter.
Having taken this statement into consideration, Councillor Paul McLean maintained his stance that this was a policy issue and should be discussed at the Commitee meeting.
The Chair, Sinn Fein Councillor Phelim Gildernew said that as Chair of the Committee he had decided that the issue would not be discussed at this meeting.
The flag and pole are believed to have been funded by victims, ex-veterans, members of the Orange Order and non-members of the Orange Order.
However, the Orange Order has distanced itself from the installation of the flag.

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