Loyalists plan mass protest over Magherafelt Council plaques

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LOYALISTS may stage a mass protest at the offices of Magherafelt District Council as the row over the presence of a memorial plaque to two Sinn Fein councillors continues.

Victims’ campaigner Willie Frazer last week demanded the removal of the plaque describing it as “a disgrace to the innocent victims” in the Magherafelt area.

Mr Frazer accompanied by a small group of supporters was locked out of the meeting but vowed to be return.

There was strong police presence in the area at the time but the protest passed off without incident.

The MAIL has learned that loyalists are now planning to return “at a date of our choosing” to stage a mass protest.

They are angry that they were refused entry to the building and that none of the DUP councillors signed them in.

DUP group leader Councillor Paul McLean told the MAIL that he had not been approached by anyone asking him to sign them in.

“A council is supposed to be the seat of local democracy and it’s a poor state of affairs when members of the public cannot access the building,” said one of the protesters.

“We the Protestant, Unionist, Loyalist people will be back again to show our disapproval of this plaque.”

The plaque was put up in the council lobby eight years ago in memory of serving Sinn Fein councillors John Joe Davey and Bernard O’Hagan.

Mr Davey (58) was shot by the UFF 25 years ago as he drove along the laneway to his Gulladuff home.

Mr O’Hagan (38) was shot dead in September 1991 as he arrived to work at Magherafelt College of Further Education.

There is another plaque in the reception area erected for all the district’s Troubles victims.