Belfast Telegraph

Council set to follow Belfast lead in flying Pride flag at offices

Council support: the Pride flag
Council support: the Pride flag
Mark Bain

By Mark Bain

The Pride flag will fly over all three civic buildings in the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council after a motion was passed at last night's council meeting.

Rainbow flags will be hoisted at the buildings in the three main council areas to mark Pride Day on August 3, following on from last week's decision of Belfast City Council to fly the flag at City Hall on the same date.

A total of 21 councillors supported the motion, proposed by Alliance councillor Eoin Tennyson, and he said he was thrilled to see the support for the LGBT community.

"It's been a very good day for the borough," he said after last night's council meeting.

"I'm delighted. I know it's only a small show of support, but it's still a significant one and I'm sure there's a lot of people looking forward to seeing the pride flag flying come August."

Hopes of flying the flag last year were derailed when a DUP call-in to have the process scrutinised meant it wasn't flown.

"I would hope this year the DUP and others opposed to flying the flag will accept the democratic will of council. There is no reason for them not to do that," said Cllr Tennyson.

"I have to thank our UUP councillor Louise McKinstry for her support in making this happen."

And after a separate motion was passed, civic buildings across the borough will also be lit up in rainbow colours to mark Pride Day.

There were two abstentions as the motion, brought by Sinn Fein Cllr Kevin Savage and seconded by Cllr Gareth Keating, passed by 19 votes to 17.

Among those who spoke and backed the motion were Alliance Cllr Eoin Tennyson and SDLP Cllr Thomas O'Hanlon, while DUP Cllr Mark Baxter said he would not be supporting and asked for a recorded vote.

As well as the lighting up of civic buildings, the council will now also be looking into having representation at the main Belfast parade.

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