Mid Ulster DUP MLA, Ian McCrea has hit out at those who were responsible for the theft of Union Flags from the Stewart Avenue and Cooke Crescent area in Cookstown on Sunday night.
Ian McCrea said: “I am completely disgusted that mindless cowards took it upon themselves to target and rip down Union Flags from homes in the Stewart Avenue and Cooke Crescent area.
“Of course they did it under the cover of darkness but nevertheless, it was an attempt to stir up tensions on the build up to the Twelfth of July celebrations. I would urge the protestant community not to react as I believe that this is exactly what those responsible want.
Republicans would love nothing more than to have a reaction that they can use to further chip away at our culture.
“I would remind those responsible that they may try and remove our Britishness from society, their efforts have and will always be in vein as the union has never been stronger. It is worth mentioning that I’m sure they aren’t backward in accepting British money in their pockets from either working or getting their benefits.
“Police are making enquiries and are treating this incident as a hate crime and I would encourage anyone with information to bring it to the attention of the police so that those responsible can be dealt with.”