Northern Ireland news

DUP 'blocking' long-awaited report on flags, identity and culture

Sinn Fein Executive Office Minister Declan Kearney. Picture by Niall Carson, Press Association

THE publication of long-awaited report on flags, identity and culture is being blocked by the DUP, Sinn Féin Executive Office minister Declan Kearney has said.

Writing in today's Irish News, Mr Kearney pointed out that representatives from the five main parties had taken part in the Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition (FICT) commission, which was established in 2016.

A FICT report, including 45 recommendations, was finally presented to The Executive Office in July 2020.

A working group reported to the executive in March and was tasked to submit an implementation plan on the report's recommendations by May.

"However, since then, for its own reasons, the DUP has resisted all attempts and subsequent deadlines to present a plan to the full executive on implementation of the report’s recommendations," he wrote.

He added: "There is no point working so long and hard for this important report to be put on a shelf."

First Minister, the DUP's Paul Givan, has previously said he agreed at an executive meeting on September 23 that the report should be made public.

He said he had authorised from “his side of the office” for the committee to receive the report.

“I want to see it released into the public domain… so there is no hold up on my part,” he said.

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