Sinn Féin councillors on both sides of the border have condemned those who removed Irish tricolours flags from Lifford Bridge in the early hours of this morning.
The flags had been erected ahead of the National Hunger Strike Commemoration parade taking place between Lifford and Strabane on Sunday.
It’s anticipated that thousands of people from across the island will converge on the border town this weekend to take part in the event which this year marks the 38th anniversary of the 1981 Hunger Strike.
In a joint statement, Donegal Sinn Féin Councillor Gary Doherty and Strabane party colleague Councillor Michaela Boyle said that those involved in ripping down and stealing of a large number of the flags from Lifford Bridge "will fail in their attempt to disrupt preparations for the parade".
“In the early hours of this morning and under the cover of darkness, a group of loyalists ripped down and stole as many flags as they could before being challenged by local people who were then subjected to sectarian abuse by those involved as they made off in two cars,” the statement said.
"Everyone has the right to remember their dead with dignity and pride and it is sad that these loyalists should be so small-minded as to engage in such futile acts.
"These actions will only serve to strengthen the resolve of republicans to pay a fitting tribute to the memory of the Hunger Strikers this weekend."
The rally is scheduled to get underway at 2.30pm on Sunday when crowds will assemble at the Diamond in Lifford before making their way across the bridge into Strabane where the main oration will take place.