Unionist flag motion defeated in by Limavady nationalists

Limavady council offices
Image caption Sinn Fein councillor Sean McGlinchey said the timing of the unionist motion was "reckless"

Nationalists on Limavady Borough Council have defeated a unionist motion to fly the union flag at council offices on designated days.

The nationalist-controlled council has already banned flying the flag on council buildings at any time.

Around 30 people held a peaceful protest outside the council offices during the meeting.

UUP councillor Edwin Stevenson, who proposed the motion, said he was disappointed at the outcome.

"It is predictable, I can't understand why they get so uptight about it.

"Nationalists know perfectly well that relations within the town have gone down dramatically since the flag was taken away.

"I haven't got it clear with the legal people yet if the council has the right to not fly the flag on designated days," Mr Stevenson said.

But Sinn Fein councillor, Sean McGlinchey, questioned the timing of the motion brought forward by unionist members of council, given the "volatile situation that exists" due to the controversy over the union flag at Belfast City Hall.

"To bring it up at this time was very reckless," Mr McGlinchey said.

Until 2004, Limavady Borough Council offices flew the union flag on designated days.

In November 2003, a Notice of Motion came before the council calling for the adoption of a 'no flags' policy at all council-owned buildings.

It was subject to an Equality Impact Assessment (EIA).

Findings of the EIA were delivered to the council in May 2004, when SDLP councillor, Dessie Lowry, proposed the no flags motion.

The proposal was carried by seven votes to six.

Since 2004, no flags have been flown from council-owned buildings on any day of the year.

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