Councillors vote to fly Irish flag

Irish flag will fly in North Lanarkshire.
Irish flag will fly in North Lanarkshire.

Councillors have voted to fly the Irish flag over Motherwell Civic Centre to commemorate a bloody chapter in the fight for independence from Britain.

It follows a request from an Irish republican organisation based in Scotland to mark the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising.

North Lanarkshire Council’s corporate services committee was split, but eventually voted narrowly in favour of the proposal today.

It means the Irish flag may fly over the Civic Centre and other council buildings in Cumbernauld and Coatbridge on April 24.

The events of April 1916 resulted in 15 men said to be leaders of the uprising being executed in Dublin.

The committee heard that North Lanarkshire’s practice is to follow Scottish Government and Scotland Office guidance, issued annually, on the flying of flags.

In addition, it was decided in 1996 to fly the North Lanarkshire Council flag at half mast in the event of the death of a serving elected member and to fly the council flag on each occasion the full council meets.

However, councillors agreed to the request despite being told that Scottish Government buildings will not be flying the Irish flag.

Councillors opposed to the decision are understood to be determined to have it reversed, fearing a public backlash, and the decision will still have to go before the full council to be ratified.

A spokesman for North Lanarkshire Council said: “We received a request to fly the national flag of Ireland to commemorate the centenary of the Easter Rising.

“The Corporate Services committee decided to support this application. However, because this decision would represent a departure from current council policy the matter will have to be considered at a future meeting of the council.”