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Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 26 January, 2020

Pensioner drowns 'attempting to remove tricolours from island' at Armagh pond

It’s believed the man was trying to swim out to the island to replace them with a Union flag.

A MAN HAS drowned at a village in Co Armagh, after apparently swimming across a pond to try and remove two tricolour flags from an island.

The two flags were erected sometime last week, according to locals.

The man is believed to have been a pensioner.

According to SDLP MLA for Newry and Armagh Dominic Bradley:

It would appear that the man attempted to swim across Bessbrook Pond with the intention of removing two Tricolour flags that had been placed on an island there and replace them with a Union flag.

He said in a statement:

As a native of Bessbrook, I know the family of the man who drowned this evening and my thoughts and prayers at with them at this very difficult and sad time.

According to UTV News, the man was was taken from the water and brought to Daisy Hill Hospital at around 5pm this evening.

It’s understood he was from the area.

Local Sinn Féin politicians have been calling for the removal of the flags, with MLA Mickey Brady telling the BBC last week that they could be seen as intimidating by the Protestant community in the village.

“These flags, some may consider them as overtly sectarian, intimidating and threatening, and I think what we do not want to do in relation to this is perpetuate division,” Brady said.

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