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PSNI called after Ryder Cup EU flag mistaken for 'terrorist' flag

The flag was put up in Rory McIlroy’s Co Down hometown to celebrate Europe’s win in the Ryder Cup.

Golfers Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell celebrate Europe's Ryder Cup win
Golfers Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell celebrate Europe's Ryder Cup win
Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

THE FLYING OF FLAGS can often be a contentious issue in Northern Ireland, but this takes the biscuit.

The PSNI were called on Sunday to golfer Rory McIlroy’s hometown of Holywood, Co Down after locals reported seeing a house flying the flag of an ‘Islamic terrorist group’.

The homeowner had to explain that it was actually the emblem of the European Union, and he was flying it to celebrate Europe’s Ryder Cup victory over the United States.

The man declined to be identified because of fears that extremists might attack his house, but told the BBC that he put the flag up for a house-warming party on Saturday night:

I was tidying up on Sunday morning and two police officers arrived. They didn’t seem to know what the flag was themselves. I said “It’s a European Union flag for the Ryder Cup.”

Golf - 40th Ryder Cup - Day Three - Gleneagles Golfer Ian Poulter waves the EU flag during the Ryder Cup Source: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

They said there’d been a complaint about it being some sort of Arabic flag. I just laughed. In the end they were laughing too. It was crazy.

“You couldn’t make it up,” agreed Belfast councilman Andrew Muir.

Additional reporting by Valerie Loftus

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