SDLP Balmoral Councillor Donal Lyons has condemned the recent erection of UDA flags across areas of south Belfast and has called for their immediate removal.
“Once again and infuriatingly, flags of the South Belfast Brigade of the UDA have sprouted on lamp posts close to the Lisburn and Finaghy Roads.
“The supporters of this terrorist group have become so brazen and contemptuous of the law, that they’re even comfortable flying these illegal flags from their own homes, knowing that no action will be taken.
“There can be no purpose to hanging these flags other then claiming control over an area and no confusion over the legality of flying the flag of a proscribed terrorist organisation. There can be no justification, sophistic or otherwise, to fly these flags in any circumstance.
“When the paramilitaries are going unchallenged in even this most basic way, what confidence can people have that they’re being challenged in their racketeering, extortion and violence.
“The PSNI have indicated that they will not remove the flags due to a lack of political consensus. I’m calling on all local representatives, Councillors, MLAs and the south Belfast MP, to publicly state their support for the immediate removal of these paramilitary flags.
“At the very least, if we don’t get this consensus we will all be able to see exactly who is protecting the South Belfast brigade of the UDA.”