7 October 1999 Edition

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Lisburn flies sectarian flag

Lisburn Sinn Féin councillor Paul Butler has accused Lisburn Borough Council of breaching fair employment practices and sending out a clear message to rate payers who do not happen to be unionists.

Butler said that the continued display of the Union flag at the Lisburn swimming pool is a blatant display of sectarianism and an insult to the nationalist population of Lisburn - which returned four Sinn Féin councillors at the last local election.

``It is a clear breach of Fair Employment Council guidelines on fair employment. Lisburn Council's policy needs to be inclusive and representative,'' said the Lisburn councillor, ``but the display of the Union flag is clearly sectarian and divisive.''

Butler, who has already met with the Fair Employment Commission, which was replaced by the Commission for Equality last week, and with Lisburn Chief Executive Norman Davidson said:

``The Good Friday Agreement acknowledges the need for sensitivity in the use of symbols and emblems for public purposes and for creating environments that promote mutual respect rather than division. Lisburn Council is not promoting mutual respect. If it intends to treat the nationalist population with respect then this flag needs to be removed at once.''

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1