“We consult, negotiate and then take enforcement action..”

As the unionist marching season gets under way we can be guaranteed the reappearance of thousands of flags across the 6 counties which will remain in place for many months.

However, this week in Magherafelt the PSNI/RUC arrived in force to prevent éirígí activists replacing flags erected to commemorate the period between the start of the Rising and the final executions of its leaders. The flags had been removed following complaints from unionist elected representatives.

In 2006 the PSNI/RUC facilitated the erection of unionist flags in Lurgan town centre after they had been removed and previously in places like Dunmurry they watched on while they were erected outside the barracks.

So is the treatment of éirígí members commemorating an important historical event a foretaste of what unionists will be experiencing in the coming months? Or something the PSNI/RUC will be reserving for republicans alone?

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