Close slams councillors over stance on flags

ALLIANCE Councillor Seamus Close has slammed councillors on Lisburn City Council for failing to support his call for illegal flags to be removed.

Last night, Cllr Close proposed a motion calling on the authorities to remove illegal flags from the City’s roads. Only six councillors – from Alliance, the SDLP and one Ulster Unionist – supported the motion, after dozens of UDA flags were erected on the Hillhall Road yesterday. The others abstained.

Cllr Close said: “It is an absolute disgrace that only about a fifth of councillors in Lisburn want flags supporting terrorism removed. Given the anger in the community about paramilitary flags, those councillors who refused to vote for my motion are clearly not representing their constituents.

“This sends out the wrong message to the people of Lisburn, that most of their councillors do not care that paramilitary flags are flying in their areas. It is bad enough that the different authorities duck responsibility for removing illegal flags, but when elected representatives fail to speak up, the UDA hoods take that as a license to break the law. No doubt some Ulster Unionist, Sinn Fein and independent councillors will have questions from their constituents about their lack of support for the removal of these flags.

“I would call on the authorities to get their acts together and ensure that the law is not broken, instead of pathetically tolerating this form of paramilitarism.”

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