English council to consider flying Tricolour to mark Easter Rising

Request in Preston provokes fierce denunciation from British army veteran

A north of England council has been asked to fly the Tricolour to mark the Easter Rising centenery next year. Photograph: Ed Pritchard/Getty

A north of England council has been asked to fly the Tricolour to mark the Easter Rising centenery next year. Photograph: Ed Pritchard/Getty

 

A council in the north of England has been asked to consider flying the Tricolour to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising next year. The request came from the Irish community in the Lancashire town of Preston which has had a substantial Irish population going back to the 19th century.

Details of the plan were revealed in emails received through the British Freedom of Information Act by the Times newspaper in London.

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.

Last July the 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 only briefly as counterprotests saw it taken down again.

Veteran

“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?”

The response from the veteran shows a degree of hostility towards any commemoration in Britain of the Easter Rising.

“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? 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.”

Irish in Britain chief executive Jennie McShannon said Irish communities in Britain were expecting to commemorate the Rising without it being a subject of controversy.