Anger at flying of SAS flag in Loughgall

editorial image

The flying of a British SAS flag in Loughgall over the weekend has been blasted as insensitive by Sinn Fein.

Nine men - eight of whom were in the IRA - were killed by the elite army unit in an ambush at the village’s RUC station on May 8, 1987.

The eight IRA men shot dead by the SAS at Loughgall

The eight IRA men shot dead by the SAS at Loughgall

They had gone there to blow up the police station with a bomb in the bucket of a digger.

Over the weekend, hundreds of republicans turned out to mark the men’s deaths at a commemoration in Cappagh.

Mid Ulster MP, Sinn Fein’s Molloy said the appearance of the flag in Loughgall will add further distress to the families of the nine men who were killed there 30 years ago.

“The tragic events of Friday 8 May 1987 will be forever defined as one of the saddest periods for the Republican family in County Tyrone,” he said.

SAS flag in Loughgall

SAS flag in Loughgall

“This is a sinister and provocative development which Sinn Féin has reported to the PSNI.

“Questions will be asked as to who has been responsible for this act, particularly as to whether former or serving members of the British forces were involved

Sinn Féin MP for Newry and Armagh MP Mickey Brady added: “Having recently attended a commemoration to mark the 30th anniversary of the Loughgall massacre, I’m appalled to learn that a British SAS flag has been reported as flying in the village.

“This shameful act of glorification will only serve to add further distress to the families of the nine men as we approach the 30th anniversary.”

The Hiace van in which eight IRA men were shot dead by the SAS outside Loughgall RUC station in 1988

The Hiace van in which eight IRA men were shot dead by the SAS outside Loughgall RUC station in 1988

Michelle O'Neill at the commemoration for IRA members killed in Loughgall, which took place in Tyrone on Sunday.

Michelle O'Neill at the commemoration for IRA members killed in Loughgall, which took place in Tyrone on Sunday.