GAA flags and tricolor on pyre labeled “blatant sectarianism”

Posted By: July 12, 2022

GAA flags and tricolor on pyre labeled “blatant sectarianism” GAA flags and tricolor on pyre labeled “blatant sectarianism”

Paul Ainsworty. Irish News. Belfast. Tuesday, July 12, 2022

A Loyalist [Unionist/Protestant) bonfire in Dungannon has been condemned for featuring GAA flags placed on top of the structure hours before it was torched.

The bonfire in Dungannon’s Eastvale Avenue area was completed at the weekend and was due to be lit at 10.30 pm last night.

It was topped with a tricolor and two ‘Irish Republic’ flags, alongside the flags of Armagh and Tyrone GAA.

A post yesterday on the Loyalist Eastvale Avenue Bonfire Dungannon Facebook page, which has documented the construction of the pyre in previous weeks, said: “A Big Shout Out To Are (sic) Republican Neighbours For Donating The Flags For This year’s 11th Night bonnie”.

Mid-Ulster Sinn Féin councilor for Dungannon, Dominic Molloy, hit out at the placing of the flags.

“People are entitled to celebrate the Eleventh Night as they wish, but when a bonfire becomes a sectarian hate-fest against the nationalist community and others, then it’s important to speak out,” he told The Irish News.

“The GAA is a community organization open to all and to see it attacked in such a blatant sectarian manner is disgraceful.

“I would urge those with leadership in unionist and loyalist communities to help bring the practice of burning flags and emblems in this way to an end.”

It is understood the bonfire was built on Housing Executive land.

No one from the Housing Executive was available when contacted for comment last night.

The Irish News also reached out to Armagh and Tyrone GAA for comment.