14/12/2012

Foster's Flag Violence Condemnation 'Long Overdue'

The SDLP Chair of the Assembly's Enterprise Trade and Investment Committee Patsy McGlone has branded Arlene Foster’s condemnation of the ongoing violence in Northern Ireland as "long overdue".

The Enterprise Minister was speaking on BBC Radio Ulster’s Evening Extra programme over the damage to the economy caused by the protests over the flag at Belfast City Hall.

Protests have been ongoing for over ten days since Belfast City Council voted to remove the union flag from City Hall and fly it only on designated days.

Numerous politicians have received death threats or had attacks carried out on their offices or homes.

Ms Foster said: "Take it off the streets and let's make it into a process where we can all move forward together in a unified way.
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"This party has always been talking about coming together and unifying and moving the union forward because we believe in the union, it's good for everybody in Northern Ireland. So let's make that a reality."

But Mr McGlone said the call to halt the protests for the sake of the economy was long overdue.

He said: "The Minister has known for days the impact that these protests are having on the local economy, but she and her party has hidden behind partisan politicking against the democratic decision of Belfast City Council.

"Now, when the damage has been done, with very little time left before Christmas, she decides to do the honourable thing.

"If she is so determined to make Northern Ireland a successful region, why has she let traders down by keeping silent for so long? This is a question she must answer."

(IT)

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