Unprecedented move by councils to fly the flag of Palestine
Following up my letter (Irish Independent, May 16) on Dublin City Hall and the Palestinian flag, Galway City Council has now voted overwhelmingly, 11 to two, for flying the Palestinian flag over its City Hall for the remainder of the month. Sligo County Council also voted, on May 8, unanimously to fly the flag from its office, for a fortnight starting on May 15, known as 'Nakba Day' for Palestinians.
Again, the protocol of flying flags from local authority buildings seems normally limited to the Irish and European Union flags. Patrick Foley, of Galway City Council, told me that "Galway City Council normally flies the Irish Flag and the EU flag". Galway and European Capital of Culture flags have also been flown "from time to time", as well as European and American flags when dignitaries from those countries visited the council.
However, the Palestinian flag has never been flown before by the council. As President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine is currently not visiting Ireland (he is on a state visit to India), the decision of Irish councils to fly any national flag in the absence of a visiting dignitary appears to be unprecedented.