Northern Ireland

Concern over Dundrum loyalist flags overlooking Gaelic club named in memory of Jack Kielty

Loyalist flags overlooking Dundrum GAC
Loyalist flags overlooking Dundrum GAC

Concerns have been raised about loyalist flags that overlook the Co Down GAA ground named after loyalist murder victim Jack Kielty.

The area around Dundrum GAC and a nearby Catholic church have been free of flags in recent years but ahead of the Twelfth, a Union flag, saltire, Orange Order flag and a Northern Ireland flag have been erected on lamposts at the northern end of the mixed village.

They overlook the Belfast Road Gaelic games complex named in memory of Jack Kielty, former club chairman and father of comedian Patrick Kielty, who was murdered by the UFF in 1988.

His son John Kielty is the Dundrum club's current chairman.

South Down MP Chris Hazzard said Dundrum was a "socially mixed, tranquil seaside village where people take great pride in working and socialising together".

"Increased attempts this year to mark out territory and intimidate local residents is wholly unacceptable and need to stop," he told The Irish News.

"Everybody has the right to participate and enjoy cultural celebrations, but we all have the responsibility to do so with respect for our neighbours."

Read more:

  • State papers: Murder of Jack Kielty and image of UDR in secret files
  • Patrick Kielty speaks of 'burying trauma' of father's 1988 murder

SDLP MLA Colin McGrath said residents from both sides of the community had raised concerns about "extra flags being raised in the area and the proximity to the local GAA club and Catholic church". 

"This is a settled and mixed community where people just want to live with their neighbours in peace so concerns that tensions are being raised by those from outside the area have to be addressed," the South Down representative said.

"We’ve been in touch with the Department for Infrastructure and local police about the situation. 

"The SDLP is committed to working with all parties, agencies and the local community to sort this problem and make sure that tension does’nt become entrenched or deepened here."

Dundrum GAC has been approached for comment.