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Flanagan Welcomes Establishment of Commission on Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition



Minister Flanagan Welcomes Establishment of Commission on Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, has welcomed today’s announcement by the Northern Ireland Executive of the establishment of a ‘Commission on Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition.’

Minister Flanagan said:

"I welcome today’s announcement of the members of the Commission on Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition. I wish them well in their work.

As Northern Ireland continues on the path to reconciliation, there remain issues which continue to divide and generate contention. Building a greater climate of respect and building a shared society, based on parity of esteem, was at the heart of the Good Friday Agreement and successive Agreements. The realisation that more was required to create a truly shared society was central to our discussions in the Stormont House and Fresh Start talks. We agreed there that addressing issues around the display of flags and emblems, in a context of respect for the identity, culture and traditions of all, would contribute to the achievement of a truly shared society.

I look forward to engaging with the Commission when it addresses expressions of sovereignty and identity."


Press Office
20 June 2016

Note for Editors

The Stormont House Agreement agreed the establishment of a Commission on Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition, against the background of the loyalist ‘flags’ protest which began in 2012. That commitment was reiterated in the Fresh Start Agreement of November 2015.

Today the Northern Ireland Executive announced the establishment of the 15 people who will comprise the Commission, comprising eight independent members (including the co-chairs) and seven political appointees.

Mr Neville John Armstrong and Dr Dominic Paul Bryans are joint chairs.

The members of the Commission are as follows:

  • Mr Doug Beattie MLA MC
  • Mr Ian Crozier
  • Mr Richard Good
  • Mr Tom Hartley
  • Professor Thomas William Hennessey
  • Dr David Thomas Hume MBE
  • Mr Donncha Mac Niallais
  • Mr Nelson McCausland MLA
  • Mr Ian McCrea
  • Dr Katy Radford MBE
  • Mr David Anthony Robinson
  • Mr Mukesh Sharma MBE
  • Mr Carl Whyte

The Commission will report in 18 months, on the basis of maximum consensus. Its remit will focus on flags and emblems and, as required, broader issues of culture, identity and tradition. The Commission will be guided by the principles of the existing Agreements, including parity of esteem. The Commission may consult both the British and Irish Governments.