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Belfast City Council vote an historic move towards a shared future

December 4, 2012 9:04 AM

BELFAST: POTTINGER: Cllr Maire HendronAlliance Councillor Maire Hendron has said Belfast City Council's decision to fly the Union flag on designated days is an historic decision by the local authority, showing a true commitment to a shared future.

The Alliance Party put forward an amendment calling for designated days, after the Council's Policy and Resources committee passed a motion supporting the removal of the Union flag permanently.

Group Leader Councillor Maire Hendron said: "This is an historic night for Belfast. The Council has shown its true commitment to a shared future by voting for a long standing Alliance policy, agreeing to fly the Union flag on designated days at Belfast City Hall.

"For the first time in their history both Sinn Fein and the SDLP have voted in support of the Union flag. This proves in a practical way that they acknowledge the constitutional position of Northern Ireland.

"The Alliance Party did not put the future of the flag on the Council agenda, but we are the only group to have shown true leadership in providing a compromise that we believe is the best option for creating equality for all.

"I have indicated on many occasions over the past few weeks that the Alliance Party recognises the position of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom. We believe the Union flag is the flag which should be respected by citizens in this part of the United Kingdom, flown with dignity.

"Not only is the designated days policy in line with the Equality Commission's findings of 2002 and 2012, but is also the status quo at Stormont.

Belfast City Council now has a policy that is actively in support of a shared future. The violence that occurred is unacceptable and my thoughts are with those who were injured."

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