Row erupts over presence of Parachute Regiment flags near leisure centre

A flag at the leisure centre.

A ROW has erupted over the presence of Parachute Regiment flags near the entrance to the Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre in Ballymoney.

In a statement to ‘Ballymena Daily’, North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Philip McGuigan said: “There is a clear attempt to intimidate Nationalist ratepayers from using the Joey Dunlop Leisure centre in Ballymoney by loyalists in the town.”

Philip McGuigan


He said Union and Ulster flags were removed from the Garryduff Road in Ballymoney but two Parachute regiment flags remained.

He added: “In my view the fact that the two parachute regiment flags, one on each side of the leisure centre entrance, have been kept up is a blatant display of sectarianism.

“The leisure centre should be a shared space, a place of neutrality, were people from all communities feel welcome and comfortable. These flags need to be removed immediately ”

John Finlay


In response, DUP Alderman John Finlay was quoted in the Ballymoney Chronicle as saying: “There are no illegal flags on the Garryduff Road.

“The Parachute Regiment is a regiment of the British Army and their flags are entitled to fly.”

He added that Philip McGuigan should “get the tricolour removed in the middle of Rasharkin, then he can talk.

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