THE United Nations flag will not fly over Ballymena Town Hall after councillors agreed it would cost too much for one day.
On Monday night, councillors were told it would cost a total of £1,000 to buy three flags and put them up at Ballymena Town Hall and also civic buildings in Carrickfergus and Larne.
Last month, Larne Lough Alliance councillor Danny Donnelly asked for consideration to be given to the flags being put up to mark the 75th anniversary of the international organisation.
A proposal by Cllr Donnelly was made at the August meeting of Mid & East Antrim Borough Council for the flag to go up on civic buildings in the area to mark the anniversary which is being celebrated on Saturday October 24 this year.
Cllr Donnelly told the August meeting that “the fact that we can’t light up the building it would be pertinent to fly the flag of the United Nations to celebrate this occasion from our civic buildings”.
At the August meeting, Larne Lough DUP councillor Gregg McKeen asked if the proposal fitted in with “our normal protocol with flags”.
Chief Executive Anne Donaghy said she would check the situation and come back to councillors.
At the September meeting of the Council, Mayor, Councillor Peter Johnston (DUP, Knockagh), confirmed it was possible to fly the flags but said the cost would be £1,000.
Cllr McKeen said in light of the cost of “£1,000 for one day” they should try to mark the anniversary in some other way.
Carrick Castle DUP councillor Billy Ashe said there were different ways of marking the occasion which would be “much more meaningful than simply putting a flag up on a building that most people won’t recognise”.
Cllr Donnelly said he believed many people would recognise the UN flag as it was “hugely recognisable across the world”.
He accepted £1,000 was expensive and he was told by Chief Executive Anne Donaghy each flag would cost between £170-£200 and then there would be staff and equipment costs involved in erecting the flags.
Cllr Donnelly said given that information he was happy not to proceed with the flag proposal and instead mark the anniversary in some other way and that was agreed by councillors.
- The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harmonising the actions of nations.