Ford: Ballyclare loyalist banner is ‘unacceptable’

Alliance Leader David Ford has criticised those behind a newly erected loyalist banner in Ballyclare.

The banner appeared at the bottom of Main Street on Monday, May 20, and coincides with the start of the annual Ballyclare May Fair.

David Ford, MLA for South Antrim, said: “The banner at the bottom of Main Street welcoming everyone to ‘loyalist Ballyclare’ is completely unacceptable. Its timing is particularly bad as the town’s popular May Fair is due to get underway this week.

“This is an intimidatory move, designed by those behind it to divide the local community and stir up old tensions. However this aim has backfired. I know that many local people are incensed that this banner has been erected. Those who put it up should take it down immediately.

“The divisive nature of this banner also goes against the strides being taken to build an inclusive and shared society for everyone in Northern Ireland. Town centres cannot continue to be claimed by one side or the other, rather we should be working together to create shared space open to everyone in the community.

“I hope Ballyclare enjoys another successful May Fair and visitors and residents are not deterred from enjoying all the event has to offer.”

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