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Irish tricolour plan in tatters as Labour council to oppose move

A request was made to North Lanarkshire Council to fly the flag to commemorate centenary of event.

By STV News

Published 15 Feb 2016.

Plans by a Scots council to fly the Irish tricolour above a number of its buildings on the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising have been scuppered after Labour said it will oppose the move.

A request was made to North Lanarkshire Council to fly the flag of Ireland to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the event.

The application from Irish cultural organisation Cairde Na hEireann to have the flag flown at three locations in Motherwell, Coatbridge and Cumbernauld was supported by the council's corporate services committee.

As the decision goes against current policy, the issue will be discussed at a full meeting of the local authority.

The committee backed the move for the tricolour to be flown above a number of civic buildings across North Lanarkshire on April 24.

However, the ruling Labour group met on Monday to discuss the issue and it has now been revealed they will vote against the move at a meeting of the full council.

Labour councillor Jim McCabe, the outgoing North Lanarkshire Council leader, said: "In the past we have not deviated from Scottish and UK Government policy on the flying of flags that are not the Saltire or the Union Jack, and we are not going to this time."

He confirmed the Labour Group met today and decided they will vote against the proposal at the council meeting next month.

The council’s policy is based on Scottish Government and Scotland Office guidelines. It was decided in 1996 to also fly the North Lanarkshire Council flag at half mast in the event of the death of a serving elected member and to fly the local authority flag on each occasion on which the full council meets.

The Easter Uprising was an event of huge significance in the history of Ireland. A total of 15 leaders of the uprising were executed.

A spokesman for North Lanarkshire Council said last week: "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."