Union flag stolen from Mid Ulster councillor’s home

DUP councillor James Shiels

DUP councillor James Shiels

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DUP Councillor James Shiels has condemned those who stole a union flag and damaged property at his home as ‘cowards’.

“This is nothing more than an attempt at sectarian intimidation, carried out by a group of cowards under the cover of darkness. So weak is their confidence in their own heritage and culture, and so strong is their hatred of mine that they couldn’t even bear to see the Union flag flying without ripping it down,” he said.

DUP councillor James Shiels

DUP councillor James Shiels

“This is of course the latest in a spate of hate crimes across our area, where Orange halls have seen attacks and flags have been torn down. There can be no doubt that these deliberate actions are sectarian and are being carried out in hopes of intimidating local loyalists.”

He hit out at the “plethora of Republican flags in the Maghera area, erected in the run up to the marching season” which, he claimed, sought to intimidate the minority unionist community of the south Londonderry area.