Magherafelt councillor calls for 'immediate removal' of unapproved Union flag

Sinn Fein Councillor Darren Totten
Sinn Fein Councillor Darren Totten

Calling for the immediate removal of an unapproved Union flag from Magherafelt, Mid Ulster Councillor Darren Totten said its erection last night was an "attempt to sectarianise the election" and deflect from the RHI scandal.

Hitting out at the "loyalist" action, the Sinn Féin councillor said: "The erection of a flag pole and Union flag in the middle of Magherafelt town centre last night is a clear attempt by loyalists to attempt to sectarianise the election campaign.

Unapproved Union flag placed in Magherafelt overnight

Unapproved Union flag placed in Magherafelt overnight

"This flag should be removed immediately.

"It is a clear attempt to distract attention from the DUP’s (alleged) corruption in government and the RHI scandal and appears to be the outworking of the brutal election campaign promised by Arlene Foster and the DUP," he added.

"The regeneration of Magherafelt town centre was the subject of a widespread public consultation led by the then Department of Social Development and the local council.

"The Department of Social Development`s Town Centre Master Plan along with Mid-Ulster District Council`s Planning Approval have all been signed off and agreed the regeneration improvements within the town with support from all parties.

The 46k artwork approved for site where the Union flag has been put without permission

The 46k artwork approved for site where the Union flag has been put without permission

"At no time within these proposals did they include the placing of flags anywhere within the shared space of Magherafelt town Centre.

"Mid Ulster Council has last Autumn given Planning approval for a significant piece of community art created by the children within the district and I will be seeking the erection of this art piece as soon as possible."