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SAS flag erected in Loughgall has been removed says PSNI

Thursday, 11 May 2017

THE SAS flag erected in Loughgall to coincide with a republican parade being held in County Tyrone to mark the 30th anniversary of the deaths of eight IRA men has been taken down, the PSNI have confirmed.
The flag appeared in the village amid controversy over Sinn Fein leader, Michelle O'Neill's appearance at a republican commemoration parade held in Cappagh to mark the 30th anniversary of the IRA men's deaths last month.
Within days of the flag appearing close to site where on May 8, 1987 the IRA terrorist gang attempted to stage a bomb attack, prompting the British Army unit to return fire, it was reported to the PSNI by Sinn Fein. The incident prompted the party's Newry and Armagh MP, Mickey Brady declare that its appearance would "only serve to add further distress to the families of the nine men" - the ninth being innocent civilian, Anthony Hughes who, caught up in the cross-fire, was also shot dead by the SAS.
In a statement the party further branded the development "sinister and provocative", a stance that has since been roundly condemned by Upper Bann DUP MLA, Jonathan Buckley, who said it amounted to "rank hypocrisy" by Sinn Fein. "In recent days we saw Michelle O'Neill taking part in an event which glorified IRA terrorists who were shot in Loughgall in 1987," he explained. "Her decision to engage in such an event was highly insensitive and has caused much hurt amongst the victims of terrorism. The party's representatives are now guilty of rank hypocrisy when they criticise the flying of an SAS flag in the village.
"Ultimately, dozens of people's lives were saved on that day in 1987 as some of the main members of the East Tyrone Brigade of the IRA were justifiably prevented from carrying out evil acts.
"It is important to remember that the IRA men who were stopped had set out with lethal intent and ultimately had no regard for human life as they sought to inflict total misery and pain."
Meanwhile, days after a police spokesperson revealed officers were "working with people in the community to resolve this situation", the flag was later "taken down". The spokesperson also added that the incident was now being investigated.

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