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Scottish council rejects proposal to fly tricolour to commemorate Easter Rising

 It is understood concerns were raised after a loyalist group, the Regimental Blues, said it would actively opposed the flying of the flag
John Monaghan

A PROPOSAL to fly an Irish tricolour from a Scottish council building to mark the centenary of the 1916 Rising has been rejected.

A full meeting of North Lanarkshire Council on Thursday saw the motion defeated, after the ruling Labour party had decided it would oppose the proposal.

The council had been considering an application from Cairde Na hEireann, which describes itself as "the national structure for republicans in Scotland", to fly the flag on April 24 from three council buildings in Coatbridge, Cumbernauld and Motherwell.

The proposal had originally been approved at a meeting of the council's corporate services committee, with six councillors from the Scottish National Party and two Labour councillors, Peter Sullivan and Pat O'Rourke, voting in favour of the move.

Labour council leader Jim McCabe said that while the party "recognise the tremendous contribution that Irish people and Irish culture have made to North Lanarkshire and Scotland" it did not support the proposal.

The SNP also held a meeting to discuss their position after group leader David Stocks said they had been inundated with complaints.

It is understood concerns were raised after a loyalist group, the Regimental Blues, said it would actively opposed the flying of the flag.

It told councillors: "Think long and hard before making any further decisions which could cause unwanted tension within the areas you represent."

Local councils in Scotland comply with Scottish government protocols on flags, which states that the Scottish Saltire and Union Jack may be flown over council buildings on certain designated days.

A spokesman for the council said: "North Lanarkshire Council decided to maintain its policy in respect of flags."

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