Lyttle: We have always known that 40,000 leaflets inflamed flags protests

Alliance OFMDFM spokesperson, Chris Lyttle MLA, has responded to the report by Dr Paul Nolan on the flags protests. Dr Nolan stated that the 40,000 leaflets distributed by the DUP and UUP had a catalyst effect in the run up to the flags vote at Belfast Council two years ago.

Chris Lyttle MLA said: “This report has confirmed what many people already knew about the impact of the 40,000 leaflets. A sensitive issue that required calm and clear political leadership was instead inflamed by the DUP, UUP and others who distributed these leaflets.

“They sought to target the Alliance Party by misrepresenting our position on the flying of flags from civic buildings and exploit the situation for political gain rather than supporting a shared future resolution. Our policy is in favour of designated days, which reflects the constitutional status of Northern Ireland in a balanced and respectful manner, is the position at Stormont and several Councils, and has been supported by the DUP and UUP in other Councils since this vote.

“It is disappointing that 16 years after the Good Friday Agreement we are still waiting for political parties to deliver a regional policy of designated days for the display of flags, the only policy to command cross community support in Northern Ireland.

“The opportunity remains at the current all-party talks to find a long term and sustainable policy on flags that permits our society to move forward to prevent severe human and financial consequences and allow us to focus our attention on pressing social and economic challenges facing our society.

“This report also discussed the role that the Police had to play as a shock absorber for these protests, which put many officers in danger. Everyone must do all that is possible to promote respect for the PSNI and the rule of law.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *