CRAIGAVON Borough Council appears to have broken with his own policy by voting to fly the Union Flag on April 29, the day of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding.
In a recorded vote on Monday night, all unionists supported the notice of motion, signed by all eight DUP members, Sinn Fein opposed it and two SDLP members, plus the Deputy Mayor, abstained.
And in the heat of debate, Sinn Fein insisted their offices would be open on the day of the wedding, even though it had been declared a public holiday, while Councillor David Jones retorted, “The flag should fly 365 days a year.”
Councillor Carla Lockhart proposed the motion, seconded by councillor Alan Carson. In congratulating the couple, Miss Lockhart said it was a happy occasion for all the people of the UK, and that flying the Union Flag would mark it in the proper way.
After Mr Carson said he had great pleasure in seconding the motion, Alderman Arnold Hatch tabled an amendment that a telegram should be sent to the couple, and this was included.
Sinn Fein’s Councillor Johnny McGibbon said his party was totally opposed to the proposal, adding, “Our offices will all be open for business as usual on April 29 as we have no interest in this wedding.”
At this stage, council officers reiterated that royal weddings were not covered in the council’s agreed dates for flying the flag from its public buildings, adding that the advice from the office of the First and Deputy First Minister was that flags would not be flown on the day.
At this stage, Councillor Mairead O’Dowd (SF) called for a recorded vote, and the majority in favour of the Lockhart proposal was 11 for, six opposed and three abstentions.
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