Donegal hotelier vows to keep flying the Union flag

Brendan Rohan says it is his right as a citizen to fly any flag that he wants

Brendan Rohan, a former Irish army officer, said he frequently flies the flag of his guests and will continue to fly the Union flag as British visitors arrive more frequently. Photograph: iStock

Brendan Rohan, a former Irish army officer, said he frequently flies the flag of his guests and will continue to fly the Union flag as British visitors arrive more frequently. Photograph: iStock

 

A Donegal hotelier and holiday park owner has said he will continue to fly the Union flag despite online attacks on his business.

Brendan Rohan, who owns Dunfanaghy Holiday Village at Corcreggan Mill in Donegal, said he will not be deflected by criticisms that he is flying the “butcher’s apron”.

The village regularly receives five star ratings on Facebook, but its overall ratings have been depressed by people posting one star ratings. None of the 13 guests who posted the lowest rating have stayed at the village.

Mr Rohan, a former Irish army officer, said he frequently flies the flag of his guests and will continue to fly the Union flag as British visitors arrive there more frequently. He has also flown the flags of France, Germany, Italy, Canada and the United States.

He said he was being targeted by “people who are looking for an opportunity to be insulted and they get it here”.

He has also received some support on Facebook. Michael Brooks posted: “Even more ironic that the owner of this resort had actually served his country, unlike the armchair republicans smearing him.”

Mr Rohan said a very angry man had rang him to say that the flag was an “insult to us who have suffered 800 years of British oppression in this country”.

Mr Rohan responded by telling him, “ah come on, how old are you? If you feel insulted by that flag, maybe you should look at why you are being insulted”.

Mr Rohan said he was a citizen of a republic and was therefore entitled to fly any flag that he wanted.

He was also “passionate” about a united Ireland. “Some in the unionist tradition claim the (union) flag. If we display that maturity (by displaying the flag), it is a stepping stone to a united Ireland.”

One of the one star rating posters, Réamann Ó Duibhginn, wrote on the Facbook page that the Union flag was an “absolute insult to the Irish people. Especially those who continue to live under British imperialism in the 6 counties, just a few miles away from where this site is, to fly a flag soaked in the blood of millions of Irish people, not to mention in an area that suffered huge losses during Britain’s systematic genocide of An Górta Mór.”

Another, Elizabeth Carthy, posted a one star rating and added: “The flying of the Butchers Apron (sic) is an insult to Irish people throughout this Island and this premises should be boycotted!!!!!!!!”

Liam Ó Briain wrote: “The flying of the British Union flag at your establishment is an insult to Irish people who have suffered at the hands of British imperialism and who in the case of the six counties continue to remain under an undemocratic occupation.”

Mr Rohan has responded by contacting those on Facebook who have posted one star ratings and asked them to tell him when they had stayed at the village.