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Matt Cooper: It will take more than one speech to take back tricolour from those who besmirch it

Winning ownership of the flag back from garda killers and racist thugs is no easy task

Pearse McAuley’s funeral procession, with the tricolour on his coffin. Sinn Féin TDs struggled to condemn the single worst act of McAuley’s terrorist and brutal life, the killing of Garda Gerry McCabe during an IRA bank robbery. Picture: Pacemaker

As it is Easter Sunday, it’s as good a time as any to begin a campaign to take back our national flag from misuse by populists and extremists.

New Fine Gael leader and incoming taoiseach Simon Harris sort of began it last week when he got his loudest acclaim from party activists in Athlone by condemning the use of the tricolour atop the coffin of “garda killer” Pearse McAuley this week.

“Take it back!” Harris ...