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Woman arrested after masked gang remove loyalist flags

Castlederg Ulster Unionist councillor, Derek Hussey.
Seamus McKinney

A WOMAN has been arrested in Strabane in connection with the removal of loyalist flags in Castlederg at the weekend.

The 46-year-old woman was arrested on Wednesday amid claims that masked men removed loyalist flags from a road in the West Tyrone town.

A police spokesman said the woman was questioned about the alleged theft of flags at Lurganbuoy Road on Sunday morning.

She was later released on police bail pending further inquiries.

Ulster Unionist Party councillor for Castlederg Derek Hussey claimed a couple were verbally assaulted and a man attacked after they approached a group of masked men removing Union and Ulster flags on the Lurganbuoy Road.

Mr Hussey said the masked gang, who claimed to be from the "Real IRA" then warned the man he would be “visited" if the flags appeared again.

Mr Hussey, along with his brother, UUP MLA, Ross Hussey and Derry UUP councillor, Mary Hamilton met police to discuss the incident.

Following the meeting, Mr Hussey said he was police were progressing their investigation into what he described as a “hate crime.”

Mr Hussey said: “Whilst the Ulster Unionist Party recognise the manpower issues currently being endured by the police service, we are adamant that a visible police presence is a major crime prevention tool and welcome the commitment to such in our area over the coming weeks.”

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