SINN Féin councillor Sean Kerr has commended the efforts of Maghera community workers who helped ensure that Papal flags which were erected along Fivemilestraight as part of the local community’s celebration of a young local man being ordained a priest have been returned after they were removed and placed on top of a 11th July bonfire in the town’s King William estate.
“The leadership shown by members of Maghera Cross-Community Partnership in dealing with a situation which had all the potential to create disturbance is to be commended. Such leadership contributes to community safety and cohesion,” he said.
“Those involved in the removal of the Papal flags and placing them on an 11th July bonfire risked stoking up sectarian tensions. Such provocative actions are most concerning for all of us who are trying to ensure a better quality of life for everyone living in Maghera.
“Now is the time for unionist politicians and the Orange Order to step up and show real leadership. The message must go out in a strong manner that everyone must celebrate their political or religious allegiances in a way that does not give offence or show disrepect to other peoples’ beliefs, allegiances, culture and traditions.
“We need to build on the good work being done by many people in our local community who are providing positive outlets for our young people in a voluntary capacity. The newly established Maghera Cross-Community Partnership is to be welcomed as a positive development.”