‘Flags littering the lamp posts’ - McPeake

Elected Chairperson of the Mid-Ulster Statutory Transition Committee - Cllr Sean McPeake.INMM3113-369SR
Elected Chairperson of the Mid-Ulster Statutory Transition Committee - Cllr Sean McPeake.INMM3113-369SR

NATIONALIST controlled Magherafelt District Council want a community group in Castledawson to play a role in helping to tackle the flags issue in the village.

Sinn Fein Councillor Sean McPeake raised the matter while consideration was being given to an application from Lower Castledawson Community Association (LCCA) in respect of funding for Christmas lights.

The LCCA submitted a business plan to council for the project which they hope will qualify for peace and reconciliation funding.

Members heard at the monthly meeting on Tuesday that there was a £5,000 underspend in Peace III funding after a youth residential failed to progress as planned.

Councillor McPeake, referring to the “flags littering the lamp posts”, stressed they were dealing with peace money and, as far as he was concerned, an agreement in relation to the future of the flags in Castledawson was needed.

He proposed they agree to support the group’s project with the caveat that ownership of the lights remain with the council.

Ulster Unionist Councillor Jackie Crawford said the Christmas were for everybody in the community and claimed the flags issue would take care of itself. “There are two tricolours hanging in Maghera and they don’t bother me,” he said.

Party colleague Councillor George Shiels said one could not equate flags with Christmas lights. He stressed there could be an issue of equality if the lights in Castledawson are going to be treated differently.

Councillor McPeake’s proposal, seconded by party colleague Councillor Brian McGuigan, was adopted.