Fury as flags are removed

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LOCAL councillors have condemned thieves after flags were removed from various parts of the borough.

Over the weekend flags were taken down from the Moneydig and Aghadowey areas, while last week, flags were removed from the Killowen area of Coleraine and Portstewart.

DUP councillor Adrian McQuillan told The Times on Monday morning that Garvagh District Orange Lodge had laid a remembrance wreath at the war memorial in Aghadowey as part of the District Service on Sunday evening.

He said that sometime in the early hours on Monday morning the wreath was taken along with a flag.

“This is the second year in a row this has happened,” said the DUP councillor.

“Flags were also removed from homes in Moneydig and the Orange Hall in Moneydig.

“People have the right to fly a flag from their own homes,” said the councillor.

The DUP man went on: “This is an attempt by some people to heighten tensions in the community ahead of this week’s Twelfth parades.”

DUP councillor Mark Fielding highlighted the same issue in Portstewart.

“ I condemn the thieves who stole flags from posts on the Coleraine Road in Portstewart.

“The flags were removed in the early hours of Friday morning, July 6.

“Portstewart people have traditionally at this time of year erected flags around the Diamond and the approach into Portstewart, and those who erect the flags have worked well with others in the local community in this matter.

“The culprits who pulled down flags will not succeed in preventing this traditional display in Portstewart.”

In a statement the police said that they are “ investigating a number of reports of theft from the Aghadowey and Moneydig areas over the weekend.

“It was reported that items were taken from a war memorial in the Aghadowey area and items were taken from an Orange Hall and private homes from the Moneydig area. Enquiries are continuing.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact police in Coleraine on 0845 600 8000. or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.