Loyalist paramilitaries seem to have been behind rioting in the County Antrim town of Ballyclare last night. The disturbances occurred after loyalists had blocked roads earlier in the day around the village to protest at the PSNI’s removal of a small number of loyalist flags erected in the village. Violence was also reported in nearby loyalist estates in Carrickfergus and Newtownabbey.
Carrick-based DUP MLA, David Hilditch, made this comment on the violence,
“We have a very developed flag flying policy here in the borough and so it was very disappointing to have this last night when such a process is going on in the town, and it is disappointing that an incident in another town has actually sparked an incident here in Carrickfergus.”
Hilditch’s reference to a “very developed flag flying policy” in Carrickfergus borough is a rather interesting remark as anyone who has been through Carrick, in recent weeks, will have noted the sheer volume of loyalist flags flying in and around the town centre- including Union Flag bunting along the pedestrian streets in the centre.
Very developed, indeed….