Union flag erected on Cookstown Sinn Fein offices

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PROTESTERS have erected a Union flag on the front of Cookstown Sinn Fein offices.

It follows Tuesday night’s decision by Belfast City Council to allow the flag to only fly 17 days a year from the front of the City Hall.

A number of Union flags have been erected throughout Cookstown town centre overnight on Wednesday.

Sinn Fein MLA for the area Francie Molloy called the erection of the flag a “five minute gimmick”.

He said: “The issue of flying the union flag seems to have got everyone excited this past week with reality sinking in that times have certainly changed.

“While it is good to see that someone still has money to throw about and has a bit of a sense of humour it is at least a change.

“Ten years previously it was a pipe bomb at our office in attempts to intimidate but that didn’t have much impact either.”

He added: “The sudden spate of flags around the town however just reflect the naivety in the Unionist approach to good community relations in Cookstown.

£Progress had been made on reducing the number of flags but unfortunately some still think that having a place bedecked in colourful material makes them more British than the British themselves.

“It is time to wake up and actually really consider what defines a person’s national identity and recognise that it’s not the amount of flags that you can hang per every hundred yards,” said Mr Molloy.