£10k to erect new flagpoles in Belfast

Published Tuesday, 07 May 2013
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Up to £10,000 of public money is to be spent on erecting poles to display more Union flags in Belfast.

£10k to erect new flagpoles in Belfast
The Union flag is permitted to fly at government buildings on designated days. (© Pacemaker)

The assembly's Department for Finance and Personnel (DFP) has approved the move for five buildings under its control.

The flag already flies at four DFP buildings; Academy House, Ballymena; Colby House, Belfast; Queen's Court, Queen's Street and at the department's headquarters at Craigantlet Buildings on the Stormont Estate.

Work is underway so the flag can fly at an additional five buildings: the DoE offices on College Street, Goodwood House and Victoria Hall, both on May Street, Clare House on Airport Road West and Rosepark House in east Belfast.

A department spokesperson said that a regulation "gives the discretion to fly the union flag" at government buildings on specified days.

"The Finance Minister has confirmed he wants the Department to fly the union flag at buildings where we have Premises responsibility," they explained.

They said that the estimated cost per site ranged from £500-£2,000 depending on "the complexity of works required at each site - location of flagpole, structural issues, site preparation works required etc".

The spokesperson confirmed work to erect the flagpoles should be completed within four months.

After months when people have been losing hope and have been losing confidence in government, and after last week’s trauma on care homes, the Finance Minister and DUP confirm what is their priority.

Environment Minister Alex Attwood

Sinn Féin North Antrim MLA Daithí McKay has stated that Sinn Féin will be seeking legal advice over the Finance Minister's order, which he said was "deliberately provocative".

"There are extremely pressing issues to be dealt with by the Assembly such as the fiasco around the closure of care homes, the Welfare Reform Bill or creating jobs and employment. All of these are worthy of spending public money on," he said.

"In recent weeks officials from the Department of Finance were in front the Finance and Personnel committee at Stormont explaining that they could not even carry out proper assessment of public sector pension reforms due to the fact that it would cost £10,000 yet the Finance minister can spend that exact amount of money on a divisive pet project.

"Instead of giving issues like this priority the DUP Minister has placed a party political project first."

Environment minister Alex Attwood said the move "raises again fundamental questions about Sammy Wilson's and the DUP's judgement".

His department's office at College Street is one lined up for a new flagpole.

He said: "The DUP is making a bad situation worse. We should be working through the flags issue wisely and together."

© UTV News
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137 Comments
ZZ in Belfast wrote (556 days ago):
I find it funny how nationalist/republican politicians are now complaining about this going ahead stating that there are more important things to worry about i.e. the state of the economy and all this money being spent on this.. well the same could be said when they were determined to take the flag down from the city hall in the first place when a survey showed that something like 95% of 18000 did not have a problem with it being there and knowing what pushing ahead with removing the flag would do they done it anyway and saw months of protests which cost millions of pounds to police. It’s funny how they won’t thinking "aw there’s more important things to worry about then a flag" and when the population did not have a problem with it then.. “you reap what you sow”, they opened this can of worms they are hypocrites!!!
dougie in ards wrote (560 days ago):
to ciaran in west belfast,why would they put up a foreign flag(irish tricolour) at the city hall , shall we fly the american flag aswel? union jack is the only flag that should be there
Michael in Beal Feirste wrote (560 days ago):
this is unbeleivabel. Just because nationalists have asked for the city to become more equal, we had months of riots and now more flags the insecurity of the unionsits/loyalist populationis palpable.... imagine what it will be like in a few years when they are in the minority! In other words you need to grow up. If you cant live in a city where both irish and british have equal display of emblems flags etc then you will never be happy because its happening... people power will make sure it does
ciaran in west belfast wrote (561 days ago):
I wonder if they will put an additional flag pole on city hall and fly both union jack & the irish tricolour?
Tommy Atkins in London, England wrote (561 days ago):
Yes David Tommy did comment from London and WILL continue to do so. British /U.K resident. Well that is a FIRST coming from N. Irelanders It is always "We are BRITISH!" Yes there have been riots in England but you guys have them every month and have a tremndous history of them.How many parades do you have per year to try and convince yourselves that you are British We do NOT need that on the mainland to show we are Brits and to see you people indulge in hate celebration under the guise of religion fervour is sickenly, embarrassing to us British Now you state you are British/U.K resident ! well have a look at the mainland and tell me how much inter religous hatred you see there. How many walls have been built to seperate the communities ? I disagree that YOU and a lot of N Irelanders are British and this is how the rest of the world see you . Now david go and don your plastic bowler. Stick a union flag on the front( Right way up!) and bang a few drums At the same time reat " I am British/U.K?,I am British/U.K!! That may make you and others feel better but it does not change how you are percieved by nthe rest of the world
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