A Dungannon councillor has warned Mid Ulster District Council’s decision not to fly the Union Flag at half-mast to mark the death of HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh sends out “a disrespectful message”.
Labelling the decision a “damning indictment of Mid Ulster District Council’” Councillor Clement Cuthbertson has warned it could do “irreparable damage” to relations throughout the district.
His comments follow confirmation from Council it will not be flying the Union Flag at half-mast from its civic buildings to mark the death of HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.
On Friday, April 9, Buckingham Palace confirmed the death of Prince Philip, the Queen’s husband, at the age of 99.
While it has been confirmed the Union Flag will fly at half-mast at parliament buildings, Stormont, until after Prince Philip’s funeral, a spokesperson for Mid Ulster District Council confirmed that despite requests from the district’s residents, the same policy will not be applied at Mid Ulster’s civic buildings.
The spokesperson also confirmed there are no plans to hold a special meeting of Council following the Palace’s announcement.
“While we have received requests to fly flags at half-mast, the Council currently has a ‘no flags’ policy and so does not fly flags on any occasion,” said the Council spokesperson.
“There are no plans to hold a special meeting at this time.”
Councillor Clement Cuthbertson said the “narrow minded decision” is “disrespectful” to both the people of Mid Ulster and the Royal Family.
“I believe the failure to fly the Union Flag as a mark of respect to HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is a damning indictment of Mid Ulster District Council,” said Cllr Cuthbertson.
“In my opinion Council is sending a disrespectful message to the Royal Family and one that will do irreparable damage to already fragile good relations across the district.
“This is about respectfully reflecting on the enormous sadness across our entire district, nation and Commonwealth at Prince Philp’s passing.
“Regardless of what is, in my view, a disgraceful, narrow-minded decision by Council, the majority of the Dungannon and Mid Ulster peoples’ thoughts are with Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family at this time of immeasurable grief.”