Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Alliance party policy on flags dates from 2002

I read the frankly outlandish claims of Charles Freel (Letters 6/02/2013) in utter disbelief on account of him using his argument to not only attack the Alliance Party but the Good Friday Agreement and peace process itself.

At the risk of continually repeating the truth, I think it's time people moved on from repeating their misconceptions in the media. To clarify, it has been the policy of the Alliance Party since 2002 that public buildings in Northern Ireland should fly the Union flag on designated days.

Alliance were elected in the last Assembly and council elections with the public at least knowing or being able to easily look up our policy on designated days.

Our city councillors followed one of the most principled lines of true leadership I could ever imagine them achieving when they fought and won a compromise that allowed a longstanding party policy to come in to fruition at Belfast City Hall.

Right now we need honesty when reviewing the mentioned Equality Impact Assessment, as we should recognise it as being a robust seven stage process which found that the policy option best promoting good relations was to be designated flag days only or designated flag days plus specified additional days.

It's time for the public to start seeing the facts and not just some unreferenced figures.

Why can't we start focusing on how to build a better Northern Ireland together instead of rehashing the same arguments all the time?

Gary Spedding

Campaigns Officer

Alliance Youth

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