Monday 11 December 2017

Henry McDonald: Loyalists have no need to get in flap over a flag

ST PATRICK'S DAY in Belfast is normally only celebrated by nationalists and republicans who for a short few hours turn Northern Ireland's main city green.

They come in their thousands from the republican heartlands of the Falls Road, Andersonstown, New Lodge, Ardoyne and other Catholic districts to celebrate their Irish identity in what is still essentially a British city.

A few decades ago a St Patrick's Carnival followed by a sea of Tricolours and Republic of Ireland shirts would have been unthinkable in the once unionist-dominated "capital" of the North. Now this loud, out and proud parade of Irishness is an annual fixture in Belfast's cultural calendar.

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