Approaching one year since the Ballyclare riots precipitated by the decision by loyalists to erect flags outside a catholic church in the town, loyalists in nearby Carrickfergus have clearly decided to throw a gauntlet down to the PSNI by erecting multiple flags outside of the town’s St Nicholas’ Catholic Church and catholic primary school of the same name (remember: it’s all British- even the bits outside the chapel!)
The flags include UDA, UVF, YCV and one associated with the Orange Order (all hands to the pump like that Covenant gathering….) as well as the usual nod to the Ulster Banner and Union Flag.
Slugger readers will recall that the decision by the PSNI to remove the flags erected outside of Ballyclare’s catholic church led to fierce loyalist rioting in the town and surrounding areas- including Carrickfergus- in which loyalists attempted to kill PSNI officers by driving a bus into a Police landrover.
Subsequently, the PSNI issued an apology to the loyalists and refused to intervene when flags were re-erected outside of the catholic church in the predominantly loyalist town.
A small number of arrests followed which led to a number of people being charged with offences.
It will be interesting to note whether the PSNI decide to turn a blind eye to the sectarian agenda of the local loyalists in South East Antrim this time…