Northern Ireland news

Scottish Labour to vote against tricolour on council building

A proposal to fly a tricolour on a Scottish council building looks set to fail
John Monaghan

A PROPOSAL to fly an Irish tricolour from a Scottish council building to mark the centenary of the 1916 Rising looks to have failed.

The ruling Labour party on North Lanarkshire Council has decided it will oppose the proposal at a full council meeting next month.

The council is 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.

Two Labour councillors, Peter Sullivan and Pat O'Rourke, last week voted in favour of the move.

Council leader Jim McCabe has since told Scotland's Herald newspaper: "Labour councillors recognise the tremendous contribution that Irish people and Irish culture have made to North Lanarkshire and Scotland, however do not support a change in existing policy, which would go against guidance issued by the Scottish and UK Governments."

Without the support of Labour the plan now looks doomed.

The Scottish National Party, six of whose councillors approved the proposal at a committee meeting last week, is also set to hold a meeting after group leader David Stocks said they had been inundated with complaints.

It is understood concerns were also 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."

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