SAS flag at Loughgall leads to controversy

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The flying of the SAS flag in Loughgall is a reminder of the success of the brave SAS operation there, a councillor in the area has said.

Independent Councillor Paul Berry - who sits on Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council - was responding to criticisms from Sinn Fein after the flag was erected this week, on the anniversary of the famous SAS ambush of an IRA team who launched a bomb and gun attack at Loughgall Police Station on May 8, 1987.

Mr Berry said, “It is a reminder that this was the day the cowards of the IRA East Tyrone Brigade were eventually stopped in their blood thirsty murderous tracks never to cause so much death and destruction against innocent victims of this local area.

“If the SAS would have been allowed to really take on the PIRA then atrocities such as La Mon, Enniskillen, Teebane, Claudy and many other horrible PIRA murders may well have been avoided and the PIRA totally destroyed. The bloody and wicked actions of the PIRA in East Tyrone and across Northern Ireland were more than insensitive and we need to challenge SF/IRAs hypocrisy.

“Micky Brady MP and Sinn Fein have little to do with their time in reporting this to the PSNI, they should condemn the PIRA attack on the station over 30 years ago as their actions were intent on killing innocent RUC officers and endangering the lives of local residents.”

Sinn Fein MP Mickey Brady condemned the flying the flag as “insensitive”, and added, “I’m appalled to learn that a British SAS flag has once again been reported flying in the village of Loughgall.

“This shameful act of glorification will only serve to add further distress to the families of the nine men executed and I am calling for the immediate removal of the two flags.”

Mid Ulster MP Francie Molloy added: “The tragic events of Friday, 8th May, 1987 will be forever defined as one of the saddest periods for the republican family. This is a sinister and provocative development which Sinn Féin has reported to the PSNI.”