A SCOTTISH local authority is set to reject a request to fly the national flag of the Irish Republic above council buildings to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising.
The corporate services committee of North Lanarkshire Council had backed a submission from a Coatbridge-based Irish republican group to fly the tricolour on April 24, the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of a rebellion in Dublin against British rule.
Cairde Na hEireann wrote to ask if the flag could be flown above council premises in Coatbridge’s Kildonan Street as well as buildings in Motherwell and Cumbernauld.
But the leader of the local authority’s ruling Labour group has confirmed his members would vote against the proposal at a full council meeting due to take place next month.
Councillor Jim McCabe praised the contribution of the Irish in North Lanarkshire, but said flying the flag would contravene existing council policy.
He said: “The decision to fly the Irish national flag was supported by the corporate services committee. However, such a change in policy would require the support of the full council.
“Labour councillors recognise the tremendous contribution that Irish people and Irish culture have made to North Lanarkshire and Scotland. However, they do not support a change in existing policy which would go against guidance issued by the Scottish and UK governments.
“The Labour group will therefore not support such a move when the matter is discussed at the next council meeting in March.”
It is understood the opposition SNP group of councillors will be given a free vote on the issue.
A council spokesperson said: “The council received a request to fly the national flag of Ireland to commemorate the centenary of the Easter Rising.
“The corporate services committee decided to support this application. However, because this would represent a departure from current council policy the matter will have to be considered at a future meeting of the council.”