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DUP defends councillors who posed in front of tricolour-burning bonfire

The DUP said Tinsley attended the events in her own capacity, not as deputy mayor of Armagh.

DUP councillors Margaret and James Tinsley.
DUP councillors Margaret and James Tinsley.
Image: Margaret Tinsley/Facebook

THE DUP HAS defended two of its councillors who were criticised for posing for photographs as the Irish national flag was burned on a bonfire.

Margaret Tinsley, who is deputy lord mayor of Armagh, posted the photo of herself and her husband beside the Edenderry bonfire in Portadown, Co Armagh on Monday. 

Her husband James Tinsley is a Lisburn and Castlereagh councillor.

“Brilliant bonfire. Well done to all the volunteers. Always a great start to the July celebrations,” she posted on Facebook following the commemorative bonfire as part of Twelfth of July celebrations.

The photo shows the tricolour on top of the burning bonfire which Sinn Féin councillor Keith Haughian has described as “absolutely unacceptable”.  

“The deputy mayor is supposed to represent everyone in the borough, but glorifying this type of activity is deeply offensive to large sections of our society.

“Burning of flags, posters and effigies on bonfires is wrong and have been rightly described by the PSNI as hate crimes,” he said. 

The Sinn Féin councillor for Lurgan called on the DUP to discipline the deputy mayor.  

PastedImage-35636 Source: Margaret Tinsley/Facebook

In response, a DUP spokesperson said that Margaret Tinsley attended the events in her own capacity and not as deputy mayor for Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon, with Alderman James Tinsley. 

“The DUP has been clear in the past that culture is not the burning of flags or posters.

Sinn Féin are not in the position to lecture when it comes to commemorative events within their own community. Respect for each other’s culture works both ways.

“Both communities should work to express culture in a dignified way,” the spokesperson said. 

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Adam Daly

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