Case of Mistaken identity as Frazer confuses Italian flag with Irish !
A VICTIMS campaigner has apologised following outrageous claims that a catholic primary school was an IRA training camp. Willie Frazer asked if the Co Tyrone school was teaching children how to use weapons-after he mistook an Italian flag being flown outside the building for an Irish tricolour. St Patrick‘s PS in Donaghmore, near Dungannon, reported the on-line comments-which included it being labelled, below right, as the ” junior headquarters of IRA youth” – to police.
A photograph, above, published on Mr Frazers’s Facebook page showed three flagpoles outside St Patrick’s flying the flags of Poland, Turkey and Italy as part of a European project. The first picture, however, was accompanied by a comment asking ” this is a school in Tyrone flying the Irish flag on the school grounds why”. The red of the Italian flag, right, was mistaken for the orange of the Republic’s, left.Mr Frazer is an outspoken critic of republicians and is the founder of the South Armagh group Familes Acting for Innocent Relatives, which has had it’s government funding cut. His Facebook posts attracted comments that called for the school to be stripped of it’s funding and for the flagpoles to be cut down by chainsaws. The flags were being flown to mark a visit of teachers from those countries to Co Tyrone. Principal Dara Cahalane said she was shocked to learn about the content of the Facebook page. ” The comments made are inaccurate. It appears some individual has mistaken the Italian flag for the Irish flag. The school is currently taking legal advice and are bringing the matter to the PSNI,” she said. Mr Frazer last night appologised. ” It is understandable how this mistake could have been made. Looking at the photo you would think it is an Irish tricolour,” he said ( that’s the problem Willie don’t thought but think ! ) I said. A UNIONIST Victims campaigner has apologised to a school after accusing it of training children how to ues weapons – after he mistook an Italian flag for the Irish tricolour. Willie Frazer said he made ” a genuine mistake ” after lablelling the primary as the ” junior headquarters of IRA youth”. St Patrick’s PS in Donaghmore, Co Tyrone, which was flying the Italian colours as part of a European project, has reported comments posted on Mr Frazers Facebook page to police. Photographs placed on Facebook showed three flagpoles outside St Patricks , flying the flags of Poland, Turkey and Italy.
The first picture was accompanied by a comment asking ” this is a school in Tyrone flying the Irish flag on the school grounds why”.
Mr Frazer himself wrote: ” I wonder do they also train the children in how to use weapons, for it seems they can do what they want.” In another post, using block capitals – which often indicates anger – he said: ” THE JUNIOR HEADQUARTERS OF SF/IRA YOUTH, OR IT MAY AS WELL BE”.
Mr Frazer ( 51 ), whose father was killed by the IRA, set up the Co Armagh-based group Familes Acting for Innocent Relatives in 1998 and was also a very close friend of William Wilkinson a convicted rapist, now serving 7 years for raping a young women &recentlywho lost an appeal to have his conviction quashed. Government funding to the body was recently cut while investigations into it’s activities are carried out. EU bodies have also sought the return of grants. An outspoken critic of republicans, Mr Frazer was an organiser of the ” Love Ulster ”
parade in Dublin which had to be abandoned in 2006 after rioting broke out. He has also run unsuccessfully for election several times. St Patrick’s usually flies Eco-Schools Green Flag outside the school, which is awarded in recognition of delivery of environmental education. However, it had recently chosen to fly flags from Italy, Turky and Poland to mark a visit of teachers from those countries to Co Tyrone. The school is invilved in the British Council-supported Comenius project which involves it forminglinks with schools in different European countries. The green flag has since been raised again. Principal Dera Cahalane said she was shocked to learn about the content of the Facebook page. ” The comments made are inaccurate.
The three flags on display were the Italian, Polish and Turkish national flags. These were flying as part of the welcome to our Comenius partner schools who were visiting at the time,” she said. ” It appears some individual has mistaken the Italian flag for the Irish flag. The school is currently taking legal advice and are bringing the matter to the PSNI.”
Mr Frazer last night apologised, adding that the school should be commended for it’s European links. ” It is a genuine mistake but it is understandable how this mistake could have been made. ” All I can do is apologise. Given the circumstances it was wrong to make those statements if it is the case that it was not an Irish tricolour. He also posted on Facebook the “flag seen flying at this school is not the Irish tricolour. It may look very much like it but I can assure people it is not,” he said. Here Mr Frazer I wanted to ask a question myself ” what flag do you call this ???”
WITH MANY THANKS TO : SIMON DOYLE ( EDUCATION CORRESPONDENT ) IRISH NEWS.
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