NewsNorthern Ireland

Republican group claims it flew Irish flag from Stormont

Northern IrelandBy Jamie McDowell
The Irish Tricolour which was flown from the top of Stormont
The Irish Tricolour which was flown from the top of Stormont

The republican 1916 Societies Group claims it was behind the flying of the Irish Tricolour and the flag of the Irish Republic from Stormont last week.

In a statement released by the group, it claimed: "On Wednesday 3rd of June, members of the 1916 Societies, taking advantage of lax security at the Stormont Assembly in Belfast, accessed the roof of the building, using the opportunity to raise the Irish National Flag and its sister flag, the flag of the Irish Republic.

 "While only a symbolic gesture, nevertheless the actions concerned reflect the enduring reality that six Irish counties remain under foreign dominion, against the democratically-expressed wishes of the Irish people.

 "Our intent was to further awareness of this matter at a time when the normalisation agenda of the British state, aided by local proxies of various political hue, continues unabated in its drive to legitimise the continuing occupation of Ireland."

In response, Traditional Unionist Voice leader, Jim Allister, said the flying of the Tricolour was a "sinister incident".

He said: "That an extremist republican organisation claims responsibility for erecting these flags shows how foolish were those SDLP and Alliance politicians who dismissed what happened last week as a prank. Nobody can now claim with validity that it wasn't a highly sinister incident. Both the PSNI and Stormont authorities must treat this matter with the utmost seriousness."