A COUNCIL in the north of England has been asked to consider flying the Tricolour to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising in 2016.
Writing in The Irish Times, former Irish Post journalist Ronan McGreevy says the request came from the Irish community in the Lancashire town of Preston which has "a substantial Irish population going back to the 19th century".
McGreevy writes: "Labour councillor Robert Boswell revealed that the Irish community in Preston was considering asking the council to fly the Tricolour. Similarly, the council had raised the Jamaican flag to raise awareness of celebrations around 50 years of Jamaican independence."
But some controversy surrounds the issue.
Last July the same council flew the Palestinian flag “in solidarity with the people of Gaza who are locked in a bitter and long lasting conflict with Israel” but after protests it was taken down again.
One British army veteran, whose named was redacted has raised an objection with the Council to the idea saying: “To raise the Irish tricolour in support of the Easter Rising? I find also hard to stomach in support of an uprising against your own people?
They added: "As far as I’m aware Jamaica has never done anything wrong to Britain unlike the Easter uprising (sic) which in effect started off the IRA who proceeded to murder over 3,000 British soldiers and innocent men, women and children. It appears to me that your local council supports anything and anyone which goes against British values.”
Mr Boswell responded saying that in the case of the Palestine flag it had only been raised for 10 minutes and the Union Jack still flew over the top of the building.
He also rejected suggestions from the army veteran that it amounted to an act of treason.
“We fly the rainbow flag for gay pride week and an armed forces flag to celebrate armed forces day. These flags replaced the Union Jack on the top of the town hall. Were they all acts of treason?" asked Mr Boswell.
Irish in Britain chief executive Jennie McShannon is also quoted in the piece as saying that Irish communities in Britain were expecting to commemorate the Rising without it being a subject of controversy.