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Union flag will fly in Dublin for six months

Published 05/01/2013

Bimpe Archer

BELFAST may have surrendered its Union flag but the standard will fly outside Dublin city council every day for the next six months.

Protests continue over Belfast councillors' decision to reduce the flying of the flag to agreed 'designated days', with violence breaking out as protesters express their anger in street demonstrations.

But, in the Republic the decision was taken to hoist it high in the capital.

It is one of 27 flags of EU member states raised to mark the country's assumption of the presidency of the Council of the European Union.

A large Union flag is now flying out-side Dublin city council's Wood Quay headquarters.

Minister of state at the department of foreign affairs and trade, Lucinda Creighton announced last year on July 12 that the government had approached the council to ask for the flags to be flown.

"We want to have it visible and show-case Europe in Ireland as well as Ireland and Europe to the world," Ms Creighton, pictured told the Joint Committee on European Union Affairs.

A council spokeswoman said it will fly "for the duration of the presidency, bar one or two days such as St Patrick's Day".

It has attracted some criticism in the Republic.

One Dubliner wrote on an online forum: "Walking along the Liffey this morning I looked over and saw the butcher's apron fluttering in the breeze outside the Dublin City Council offices on Wood Quay.

"Are we back under British rule? Kenny must be a proud man."

However, others were more sanguine, relating it to the flag trouble in the north.

"Better flying than burning a neighbours flag, like those loyalist lads at Belfast City Hall in the Ulster provincial capital, who hopefully can muster a little reciprocity," another wrote.

"After all, how facilitating can a nation be flying the flag of an insular neighbour, which retains an emblem pertaining to ones own."