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Dublin: 6 °C Friday 22 November, 2019
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Unionists condemn 'evil' Swastika flown near Loyalist bonfire

The incident came one day after graffiti threatening to “crucify” Catholics in Belfast.

LEADERS FROM ALL sides of the community in Northern Ireland have condemned the erection of a Nazi flag near the site of a Loyalist bonfire in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim.

The Swastika, along with a Confederate flag, was flown in the Glenfield estate for a period yesterday, before being taken down by residents.

As of earlier today, however, the Confederate flag, which has caused uproar in the United States recently, was still flying in the estate.

Northern Ireland First Minister, the DUP’s Peter Robinson, led widespread condemnation of the Swastika today, calling it “shameful” but praising the locals who removed it.

In a statement, party colleague and MP for East Antrim, Sammy Wilson, reflected the views of many, by highlighting the unusual character of a Nazi symbol appearing in a predominantly Loyalist neighbourhood.

These flags have absolutely nothing in common with unionism or with loyalism…
People from Northern Ireland fought bravely in our armed forces to defeat the Nazis and these flags should have no part in our society.

Local UUP councillor John Stewart called the Swastika “an image of pure evil”, and condemned those responsible as “morons.”

The Swastika is an image of pure evil that our forefathers fought so bravely to defeat.
They gave their lives to ensure that this country did not live under fascism. I am appalled and sickened that some morons would erect these flags in Carrickfergus.

Alliance Party MLA Stewart Dickson, who has an office in the town, branded the flying of the Swastika “disgraceful,” and also pointed out the irony of its location.

It is especially disrespectful when it is flown by those supposedly supporting the Orange Order, who recently marked the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, where thousands of Irishmen died fighting against the tyranny, bigotry and fascism this flag represents.

It’s not yet known who was responsible for erecting the flags, but the incident forms a pattern of what Sinn Féin Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness called “displays of hatred” in the lead-up to this year’s marching season.

On Monday, this photo emerged on social media of a group of armed and masked men standing by graffiti near the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, which threatened to crucify Catholics.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, “VTOT” stands for “Village Team on Tour”, a Loyalist gang based in the south of the city.

Read: DUP and UUP fanned flames of violent flag riots but lost control>

PHOTOS: The world’s most divisive and controversial flags> 

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Dan MacGuill

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