Anger as sash and flag drape new public art

An orange sash and union jack on the new public art at Portadown's Northway
An orange sash and union jack on the new public art at Portadown's Northway

Craigavon Council has “not issued any instructions” to remove an Orange sash and Union Jack draped over new public art in Portadown.

The monument at the Northway junction close to Jervis Street was erected just a few months ago and has already become a popular meeting spot.

However, one local woman contacted the Portadown Times to voice her disgust at the materials covering part of the monument.

She said she and others regularly went to have lunch at the monument as she works in the area, but since the flag and sash were erected she feels intimidated. “There is painting on the wall, ‘loyalists only’, and now with the Union Jack on the lady and the sash on the man, I feel Catholics are not welcome at the monument.

“It has made most people feel intimidated. I pay 40 per cent in tax and I feel as if I am entitled to enjoy this monument like anyone else. I do not pay my taxes for any flags, Union Jack or Tricolour, to be put up on council monuments. Those statues should have been put in the centre of town. It’s an absolute disgrace.”

The woman said she had complained to Craigavon Council but felt that her call was being sent to various departments and not taken seriously. “I am sure I am not the only one who complained,” she said.

A council spokesperson said, “Council is aware that a Union Flag and Orange sash are currently on the statues. To date our records show that there have been no complaints received from the general public. As always council has an ongoing dialogue with all local communities.

“Council has not issued any instruction to remove these.”