Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Féin Calls for Action on City Hall Flags

25 March, 2004

Sinn Féin Councillor Eoin O'Broin has called on Belfast City Council to 'do the right thing on the flying of the Union Flag from City Hall, Ulster Hall and Duncrue Depot.' Speaking in advance of a special Policy and Resources meeting tomorrow, Cllr O'Broin said:

'Sinn Féin first raised this matter with the Chief Executive's office two years ago. At that time we challenged the legality of flying the union flag from City Hall, Duncrue Depot and the Ulster Hall. Under the City Halls own Equality Scheme the council has an obligation to provide services to all citizens in an equal manor. In addition our own good relations policy demands that the council provides a neutral and harmonious working environment for all staff. The flying of the union jack from three buildings where people work and the public access services is clearly in contravention of these policy and legal guidelines.

'It is a scandal that it has taken two years for this matter to be brought before committee for a decision. This lengthy delay indicated unwillingness by some in the city hall to deal with matter in a serious and fair way.

'However now that the matter is in front of Council it is imperative that a decision is taken.

'Sinn Féin's preferred option is for the removal of the flag from the Ulster Hall and Duncrue Depot. With regard to the City Hall our view is that equality must be the guiding principle, and therefore we believe that the Irish National Flag should fly alongside the union jack. This would demonstrate equality between and mutual respect for the two main political aspirations in the city. However if such a solution is not possible then neutrality is clearly the best option.

'However if the council decides to allow the status quo to remain Sinn Féin will have to seriously consider legal action, and have already begun consultation with our solicitors on this matter. The council has an opportunity tomorrow to send a positive signal to all the citizens of the city' ENDS

Connect with Sinn Féin