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Alliance, DUP and UUP seek to stall Assembly group on flags and emblems

5 February, 2013 - by Caitríona Ruane

Sinn Féin MLA Caitríona Ruane said the place to deal with the flags issue plus symbols, emblems and language is through the Assembly and not through the Assembly Commission.

The South Down MLA and member of the Assembly Commission said:

“Unionists have been attempting to bring the flags issue to the Assembly Commission and not only are they mistaken but they are also going back on what was earlier agreed.

“In 2000 the Assembly Commission agreed that the flags issue is a political matter and best handled in the Assembly.

“Sinn Féin today lodged a joint motion with the SDLP at the Business Committee that the Assembly set up an Ad Hoc committee to deal with issues surrounding flags, emblems, symbols and language and that this committee reports directly to the Assembly.

“This move would ensure that parity of esteem, equality and diversity are best served and the Assembly Commission can get on with its role of managing Parliament Buildings.

“However for reasons which they need to explain, the DUP, UUP and Alliance voted at the Business Committee not to debate motion next week but instead end Assembly business at 4.10pm and 5pm on February 18th and 19th.

“Both ourselves and the SDLP are committed to this course of action and this debate will be heard in due course. The pointless stalling of the other three parties at the Business Committee today at a time when we need political leadership on this issue is deeply regrettable and sends out the wrong signal.”

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