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Opinions on the situation in Belfast re the flag sought from UK mainland.

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Showing 51-75 of 256 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on 30 Dec 2012 21:30:05 GMT
Larry says:
What exactly is an IRA flag?

Posted on 30 Dec 2012 21:46:15 GMT
Larry says:
It's all very well for us good folk on the UK mainland to comment on the flag situation in Belfast, it won't make any difference to what is an essentially age old problem, the loyalist/unionist population see every little 'capitulation' to the republican/nationalist community as an erosion of the union with the mainland and see it as a pre cursor to an eventual united Ireland, that of which they are vehemently opposed to, it will go on for years........unfortunately

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Dec 2012 13:17:55 GMT
Huck Flynn says:
some do Larry but what percentage it's hard to say. Most are realistic about the need for compromise and mutual respect and frankly have more important concerns and priorities at the present time. Britishness is a complex but not burning issue for most of the people i know from the nominally "loyalist/unionist" community - there is much to both admire and be appalled about the achievements and policies of britain historically and about the values it claims to espouse these days but much of this is reinforced early on by educational policy and syllabus and historical interpretations in traditional schoolbooks - i hope it's better taught than when i was at school. There has for a long time been a prevailing opinion that "the Republic of Ireland" was a backward place (in everything except Rugby and the Arts perhaps) held back by outdated religious control - i think this has now largely been revised but economically i think there is still more confidence in sterling than the shaky eurozone. the important flag remains the emblem on the banknotes in your wallet.

Posted on 31 Dec 2012 14:27:16 GMT
I had heard of the issue on the news but would like to know more about it. What was the situation before? Was the Union flag flown every day? Was the Irish tricolour ever flown? Who took the decision to change the status quo, and why? Did any of the Unionist parties (or their assembly members and/or councillors) vote for the current situation? Why did those who voted for it do so? Did they consider that it might cause a backlash?

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Dec 2012 15:44:38 GMT
Huck Flynn says:
i think the flag was flown every day outside the city hall although i pass there every day and wasn't conscious of it. I don't believe the tricolour has been flown but perhaps when mary robinson came to town ?
From the Belfast telegraph:
"Relations between unionists and nationalists on Belfast City Council have sunk to a new low after a motion to remove the Union flag from flying above the City Hall was passed in committee.

The controversial issue will now pass to a full meeting of the council next month with Sinn Fein and DUP already drawing up their battle lines for scenes which could be reminiscent of the infamous `Dome of Delight' days of the 1980s.

The motion - proposed by Sinn Fein - was passed at a meeting of the policy and resources committee yesterday.

The committee also supported removing the Union flag at two other council properties - the Ulster Hall and the Duncrue complex.

The decision turns up the heat ahead of next month's full council meeting, with Alliance - who hold the balance of power in the chamber - caught between the two sides. The DUP, UUP and PUP all support the flag continuing to fly 365 days a year.

Alliance supports the flag flying on designated days, as recommended in a report by the Equality Commission, and has insisted it will never back a motion which removes the flag from the City Hall on every day. The final decision will be made on December 3.

Sinn Fein - which described Friday's move as a "step in the right direction"-said it knew the motion would be challenged by both unionists and the Alliance Party.

Jim McVeigh said: "The battle lines are clearly drawn in this case. The unionists have publicly said they don't want change and Alliance have been consistent with their policy."

But he said it was an "important step" in making the City Hall an inclusive place. "From our point of view, flags are used to mark territory and divide the city, to keep people out, and shouldn't be used on civic buildings," he added.

Mr McVeigh said that the City Hall should be a "neutral place", adding that Belfast was "not as British as Finchley", a reference to a remark made by Margaret Thatcher.

"The Union Jack is associated with one tradition in this city and is often used to exclude and intimidate others," he said.

He said a civic flag was a possible alternative.

The SDLP also backed the complete removal of the flag.

Tim Attwood said: "With the decision now having been taken we look forward to full council in December, where we hope other parties will continue to join with us in supporting a City Hall that is truly shared by all people of Belfast".

But the DUP's Lee Reynolds said his party is hoping Alliance blocks the move at the meeting.

"It is common practice across Northern Ireland and Great Britain and across the world. We're not asking for special treatment," he said.

Unionists were responsible for distributing 40,000 leaflets in Belfast accusing Alliance of "backing the Sinn Fein/SDLP position that the flag should be ripped down".

Alliance denied that there was any such pact. The party's Maire Hendron, however, said it "will never" support Sinn Fein and the SDLP in their attempts to permanently remove the Union flag from the City Hall.

Ms Hendron said that she will be again proposing the Union flag be flown on the designated days.

"The Alliance Party believes that the Union flag should be flown with respect and dignity" she said.

"In the context of building a shared future in our divided society, we believe it is important that the recommendations of the Equality Commission should be followed in the matter of the flying of flags."


In Northern Ireland:

Eight councils fly no flag
Two councils fly a neutral `civic' flag
Ten councils fly Union flag every day at one or more buildings
Three councils fly Union flags on designated flag days plus a small number of additional specified days at one or more buildings
Two councils fly Union flag on designated days at the headquarters building only "

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jan 2013 01:43:06 GMT
Thanks for the overview, Huck. In such a situation it's difficult to know what to do, when every little symbol means such a lot to the various sides. Probably saying that both the Union Flag and the Tricolour should be flown side by side every day would cause just as much trouble.

I'm English, in my mid-50s, and an English school acquaintance was killed years ago as an 18-year-old soldier in Northern Ireland after driving over a landmine. OK, he volunteered, and as has been said, people on all sides have lost friends or family, including the Queen, but it's sad still to see sectarian violence, at whatever level, after all these years. And bear in mind that lots of English, like me, have partly Irish ancestry, so it's not just a case of "us and them". Sadly, tension is Northern Ireland is likely to remain for a good few decades yet, I suspect.,4509.0.html

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jan 2013 22:30:02 GMT
Last edited by the author on 2 Jan 2013 22:34:57 GMT
Charlieost says:
Brian. Norhtern Ireland is part of the UK and therefore has a tax regime the same as in the UK. That is where the riots are taking place.

The Republic of Ireland has the low corporation tax rate and that is why we attract foreign (mostly American) companies such as pharmacuticals and internet. We rarlely have riots in the republic though the Love Ulster march of a few years back did not pass peacefully and the pensioners can get pretty wired up if there is a threat to their medical cards.

I know a lot more about Devon than you do about Ireland since I have lived there. Is South Hams still the most corrupt council in Britain?

I posted to garner opinion on the fuss in the north over the flag. You chose to once again give you the opportunity to make personal attacks and air your predjudices.

Not everyone is going to agree with you just as not everyone is going to agree with me. I can live with that but can you Brian? C

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jan 2013 14:08:51 GMT
Charlieost Happy New Year to you, nice to see you have finally resurfaced, good bender was it?
If Northern Ireland is part of the Uk why are you making a fuss about the rioting there then?

You invited opinions on a thread starter, I give mine.
If you don't like it then don't start threads.

Most people in the UK are totally disinterested what happens in Ireland, events in Iceland probably register more with people here than the usual temper tantrums of the Irish.

Posted on 3 Jan 2013 17:32:58 GMT
Roma says:
Mr A Catterall
I don't see religion as the main issue in N. Ireland, although there is a religious element obviously. If England were invaded and subsequently controlled by a foreign country who eventually agreed to relinquish control of most of the country but to keep Yorkshire, then the original English population and their descendents in both England and the now Not English Yorkshire would strive to have Yorkshire reunited with England. This may be prevented via the democratic process if more people originating from the invading country outnumbered the descendents of the original Yorkshire people. If the invading country were, in fact, Muslim, then it might be interpreted as a religious divide, but, ev in the invading country were Christian or of no religion, there would still be a divide between those who wished to be part of England and those who were happy to remain as part of the country which is now in control. Many people who fought for the freedom of Ireland and were republicnas were not in fact Catholics: they were simple people who believed that Britain had no right to occupy Ireland.

However, I would hope that there is no re-emergence of the troubles and that any agreements are made in a peaceful and democratic manner.

Posted on 3 Jan 2013 17:37:57 GMT
C. A. Small says:
I could be wrong but weren't the Irish originally Scots who invaded?

Should all Americans leave and the land return to Native American ownership? Likewise Australi, New Zealand, Canada- in fact pretty much everywhere has at some time been invaded, and colonised.

Posted on 4 Jan 2013 11:32:45 GMT
@C.A. Small around 8000BC is reckoned to be the earliest date of known settlements which is believed to have been populated by people coming from the Continent and what is now Britain. Long before there was even a Scotland and long before anyone "invaded" anyone. It was mostly the spread of the Celtic Religon I believe that brought poeple to Ireland and the rest of Britain for that matter

It was much later that the Vikings came a long and well they pretty much just invaded everyone at once around 600AD

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jan 2013 11:47:46 GMT
C. A. Small says:
Cheers Stephen- always glad to learn something new.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jan 2013 12:30:00 GMT
Charlieost says:
That's what I wanted to know Brian. How people in the UK feel about the situation occuring in the North of this island. Thankyou for your response.

As for the bender, I haven't touched a drop in years. Spent New Year watching boxed set of Northern Exposure with the missus and was reading a book when the chimes went and missed it by six minutes. Just not interested in that kind of thing. Or celebreties, or adverts, or most television. Or alcohol or drugs anymore. C

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jan 2013 12:55:01 GMT
C. A. Small says:
It sounds like you are very content.

Posted on 6 Jan 2013 18:22:09 GMT
Charlieost says:
Hi Clive. Yes I am very content but it does concern me sometimes that the years are passing and I am not doing an awful lot now apart from being content of course. Looking back, it seemed a lot more exciting when I was getting into all sorts of scrapes and situations

But I have been fairly tied down out of choice because I need to be in the area where my offspring (well the latest ones are) so that they can get a break from their mother whenever they want and if they are needing a lift back from something late or they get stuck as teenagers do then I am only a phone call away. Their mother still drinks and does drugs and though the gards are scarce around here and I know them all anyway they sometimes send them down from the city to do spot checks on the roads for the drink driving.

Anyhow, that all changes soon as last daughter is doing leaving cert soon and is intending to do a computer design and programming course in Galway which is a great city where I already have some friends living. So I may move up there to meet new people and kick start life back into action again. But the partaking of alcohol and substances is well behind me now.

Much more chance of work in my trade in the city plus a great volunteer centre, library, museum, and the mountains of Connemara not far beyond. But do we ever find true contentment? Are we not always striving for that little bit more? I know that I lust after the woman who lives across the road from my missus.

Strange creatures we are. C

Posted on 6 Jan 2013 20:01:59 GMT
Belfast council could not have taken a more provocative decision and, knowing, as they must have done, the strength of feeling on the matter, bear a heavy responsibility in this matter. For the sake of peace and justice, the home secretary should intervene and instruct the council to rescind the order.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Jan 2013 21:05:03 GMT
Pipkin says:
In other words, would you have them give in to the violent protestors?

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Jan 2013 21:11:15 GMT
If protesters have right on their side - and in this instance I believe they have - then, Yes.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jan 2013 01:04:56 GMT
C. A. Small says:
Mep- that is the history of modern Ireland in a nutshell.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jan 2013 01:06:32 GMT
C. A. Small says:
At the moment, I am content in my relationship, but worried sick about the economy and my businesses. I fear 2013 will be a terrible year for many many people as the recession really hits.

Posted on 7 Jan 2013 02:42:09 GMT
Gaarghoile says:
Why do they love .... The Double Cross?

Posted on 7 Jan 2013 09:24:12 GMT
As for me personally, I couldn't care less what flag flies over buildings. From my experience the only reason I've seen either the Tricolour or the Union Jack fly is to either mark territory, intimidate or to provoke. Then the idea of burning a car because of one of these items is not only insane but it is also to leave all wits behind and give up on any sort of intellectual thought.

Now if people want to protest the decision and try to get it overturned then fine but rioting is just mindless and harms everything

One important thing though, this was passed by a majority vote in the council and was a democratic decision

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jan 2013 23:07:45 GMT
Dissident says:
Actually, its about what country the North of Ireland should be part of. Nothing to do with 'invisible friends' except as a cultural label. Do you think you'll find any of the rioters in church on a Sunday? About as much chance as the average chav in London or Manchester!

Personally I think the clue is in the name, Northern IRELAND. Kind of odd that part of Ireland is still ruled by London.

Ali G summed it up best when he asked a Unionist MP on hearing that the man called himself 'British' "Wicked, Is you on holiday here as well?"

Posted on 9 Jan 2013 02:12:43 GMT
B. R. Smith says:
Haven't you people realised it yet? Nobody in England (that place where the money comes from) gives a twopenny damn about you. WE DO NOT CARE!

Brent Smith.

Posted on 9 Jan 2013 11:13:36 GMT
Roma says:
Nobody? Not one person? Why do you think you have the right to speak on behalf of an entire country. It must be the first time in history when there has been unanimous agreement on one issue. I think the English are better than you give them credit for. I would hope that there are people who do care but i will only speak for myself. I care for any people anywhere who are involved in conflict situations. Let s hope that . a peaceful resolution can be found as soon as possible.
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Discussion in:  politics discussion forum
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Initial post:  19 Dec 2012
Latest post:  19 Feb 2013

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