'Para' flags aimed to cause hurt ahead of 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, MLA says
PARACHUTE Regiment flags which appeared in Derry ahead of the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday are intended to "cause hurt" to survivors and loved ones of the atrocity, an MLA has said.
Flags featuring the emblem of the regiment, members of which shot dead 14 people on Bloody Sunday on January 30 1972, have appeared in Drumahoe on the outskirts of the Waterside area, and the village of Newbuildings.
Images of the flags were put up on social media, with a shot of Drumahoe showing lampposts in the area adorned with both the Parachute Regiment flag and the Ulster Banner flag favoured by loyalists.
Their appearance comes ahead of events to mark the 50th anniversary of the atrocity this weekend.
Sunday and will see events held including a memorial service and wreath laying ceremony and a special walk by families of those killed.
SDLP Foyle MLA Sinéad McLaughlin said the flags were "distressing and disheartening".
"They can only have been erected to cause hurt to the victims and survivors of Bloody Sunday and their families and I would ask those who put them up to show some decency and remove them immediately.
"I know the people who erected these flags do not speak for these communities. The vast majority of the people in our city just want to get along with their neighbours in an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding."
The flags are attached to street lighting owned by the Department of Infrastructure. The Irish News contacted the department last night for comment.