Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey Cooper has welcomed the decision to introduce a policy allowing staff members to wear the Easter Lily.
Commenting after full Council voted on the landmark proposal, Cllr. Cooper described it as an example of inclusive politics.
“This is a positive development and should be seen in that light. It isn’t about forcing people to wear a lily, it is about recognising their right to do so if they so wish. The Good Friday Agreement established the right of all to remember their dead and this policy is simply a recognition of that principle.
“Council has also gone about this policy change in a very inclusive way, considering it over a lengthy period, during which time a working group was established and advice sought from the Equality Commission. That kind of inclusive, informed approach should be the model for other areas when dealing with sensitive issues such as flags and emblems. Unfortunately, that isn’t usually the case, particularly in unionist-controlled Councils.
“There was cross-party representation on the group, including from the DUP and UUP, and when the evidence was considered, it was clear that the wearing of Easter lillies – just like the poppy – is entirely consistent with a harmonious and inclusive working environment.
“All parties on the working group endorsed the recommendation to introduce this policy and that is clearly a positive example of politics working in practice. It was then ratified by the Governance and Strategic Planning committee before going to yesterday’s meeting of the full Council where I am pleased that it was passed.”