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Union flag to fly at Limavady council HQ for first time in decade after merger


Councillor Sean McGlinchey

Councillor Sean McGlinchey

Councillor Sean McGlinchey

The Union flag looks set to again fly at council offices in Limavady for the first time in more than a decade.

Discussions on a flag policy for the Causeway Coast and Glens District Council have now begun with an interim agreement to maintain the current status quo until the process for adopting a new policy is completed.

Even at this early stage it has been accepted by Sinn Fein that it is inevitable the flag will be flown at the council offices in Limavady.

Each of the four councils that will merge into the Causeway Coast and Glens District in April takes a different approach to flying the Union flag.

In Limavady, only the Blue Seaside Award Flag is flown by the council.

That is also the case for Moyle District Council.

However, in Coleraine the Union flag is flown for 365 days at Coleraine Town Hall, for two weeks in July at Portrush Town Hall and during business hours at Cloonavin, while Ballymoney's current policy is to fly the Union flag at the three council buildings - Riada House, the Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre and the Town Hall on designated days and also on additional days at the discretion of the mayor and the council chief executive.

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Councillor Sean McGlinchey, who took part in the early discussions on the flag, told the Belfast Telegraph it looks likely that the Union flag will return to Limavady Borough Council offices.

He said: "There is a unionist majority at the Causeway Coast and Glens District so there is every likelihood that the flag will be flown again.

"We would like to think that a compromise can be reached that will see that it is flown only on designated days.

"This is far removed from the current position of Coleraine council who fly the flag all-year around.

"We have already asked that the flag that flies at the Coleraine council depot is removed immediately because that is a work space and the Union flag is there unofficially."

Limavady Borough Council TUV councillor Boyd Douglas, who maintained a one-man protest against the removal of the Union flag at the City Hall in Belfast by flying his own miniature flag during Limavady council meetings, said he would be happy to see the flag flying on designated days.

He said: "I was never happy that the flag of our country was taken down from the council offices but I am not expecting to see it flying 365 days of the year once this new process has been gone through.

"I would be happy with designated days and then discretionary additional days.

"In my opinion it should never have gotten to the situation that it did because that only provoked people into the position we have in Limavady, where there are flags up everywhere all-year round from lampposts, which is disrespectful to the flag."

The process to decide on a new flag policy will last around nine months.

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