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Motion seeks removal of all ‘paramilitary facades, memorials and murals’ in ABC borough

If approved a working group would be set up to oversee removal of all such illegal displays which 'serve only to mark territory and intimidate local communities'

Images and slogans claiming to represent Mid-Ulster UVF and other associated paramilitaries close to a community centre at Pollock Drive in Lurgan

Firm action could be taken to remove all “paramilitary facades, memorials and murals” from across the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area.

And a working group could be set up to oversee the process.

Both of these things may happen if a notice of motion which is being brought before council wins the majority support of councillors.

It is being brought to the statutory meeting of ABC Council tonight (Monday) for consideration.

The Alliance Party will be leading the debate, with Lurgan representative Councillor Peter Lavery having tabled the motion, due to be seconded by party colleague, Councillor Eoin Tennyson.

Just last month, Councillor Lavery described UVF facades which appeared on the side of a Housing Executive property in Lurgan as an “attempt to intimidate residents”.

These signs, depicting images and slogans claiming to represent Mid-Ulster UVF and associated other paramilitaries, were openly displayed close to a community centre at Pollock Drive in Lurgan.

While he most recently highlighted the appearance of loyalists murals, Councillor Lavery’s motion does not distinguish or differentiate between any grouping.

He will be asking tonight that council “condemns the continued illegal erection of paramilitary facades, memorials and murals which serve only to mark territory and intimidate local communities”, adding that “such organisations have no place in society and should disband immediately”.

The motion advocates: “In order to proactively tackle this issue Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council will set up aworking group containing elected representatives and all relevant public sector agencies which will aim to
remove all illegally erected paramilitary facades, memorials and murals within the borough.

“The working group will also consult with local residents to determine what the illegal objects might be replaced with which will help to capture the imagination of local communities and allow them to present their areas in a positive and welcoming way.”

The meeting, at Craigavon Civic Centre, will get underway this evening.

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