Cenotaph Union Flag Plans Rejected

A proposal to fly the union flag above the cenotaph at Belfast City Hall has been rejected by councillors.

The announcement follows a decision by the Royal British Legion not to support the move.

The DUP proposal was put forward following the decision by Belfast councillors on 3 December last year to restrict the flying of the union flag above City Hall.

The DUP also proposed that the number of days the union flag is flown above Stormont be increased in the wake of the decision at City Hall, but a meeting to discuss the issue was boycotted by the SDLP, Sinn Féin and Alliance.

The British Legion has opposed the proposal to fly the flag at the cenotaph, saying the area is 'sacrosanct' and should not be politicised.

SDLP Councillor Tim Attwood said: "The SDLP is opposed to the flying of the union flag at the cenotaph because we believe that the cenotaph should be protected as shared space and a focus for reconciliation. We welcome the comments from a number of organisations who participate in remembrance services who have said that the cenotaph should not be politicised."

Mr Attwood added: "The SDLP attends the annual Somme and Remembrance Sunday Commemorations to pay our respects the thousands of men and women on the island of Ireland and beyond, who fought and died together in the different world. In recent years the SDLP has worked with others to try and enhance the Somme and Remembrance Sunday Commemorations.

"The SDLP proposed that the Somme Commemoration should fully reflect the contribution of the courageous men from the 36th (Ulster) Division and 16th (Irish) Division who lost their lives in France in 1916. Furthermore, the SDLP proposed a motion at the January 2012 Council meeting to invite the Irish Government to attend remembrance services.

"It was a both historic and symbolic occasion when Mr Eamon Gilmore TD, Minister for Foreign Affairs, attended the Somme and Remembrance Sunday last November. It is an important part of our history on the island that must not be forgotten."


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

17 April 2013
SDLP Opposes Cenotaph Flag Proposal
The SDLP has said it is against the flying of the union flag over the Cenotaph at Belfast City Hall, on the basis that it should be maintained as a shared space. An Equality Screening is currently taking place to decide the equality impact of flying the flag above the Cenotaph.
20 February 2013
Crusaders Call For End To Flag Protests
North Belfast football club Crusaders have called for an end to union flag protests around their stadium, after a game against Cliftonville last Saturday was cancelled.
19 October 2015
SDLP's Dominic Bradley To Retire Next Year
SDLP Assembly Member Dominic Bradley MLA has announced that he is to retire from frontline politics at the next election. Mr Bradley has been an SDLP Assembly Member since 2003. He said he believed it was now time to pass on the baton to other SDLP representatives in the Constituency.
02 October 2013
SDLP 'Regrets' IRA Play Park Naming
SDLP leader Alistair McDonnell has said he "regrets" the decision to reaffirm the naming of a children's playground in Newry, County Down, after an IRA hunger striker.
25 October 2010
John Hume Awarded 'Greatest' Honour
Former SDLP stalwart, John Hume has spoken of his "tremendous honour" at being awarded the prize of 'Ireland's Greatest'. An RTÉ programme had whittled a top 40 contenders down to five this week, with viewers in the Irish Republic then voting the former SDLP leader to the top spot.