New rules for flying Tricolour

Ireland’s national flag will fly over Government Buildings at all times in future under plans to mark the Easter 1916 commemorations as last year’s events have brought a “new respect” for the Tricolour.

To mark the 101st Anniversary of the Easter Rising, a short flag-raising ceremony took place in the Courtyard of Government Buildings

Taoiseach Enda Kenny confirmed the move in a speech to Defence Forces personnel as he was accused of failing to protect Ireland’s interests in the Brexit negotiations at a separate Easter 1916 event.

Under existing State protocol, the Irish flag is only allowed to fly at full mast over Government Buildings during daylight hours in order to ensure it is clearly visible whenever it is formally unveiled.

However, as part of reforms sought by Mr Kenny, from this weekend the flag will fly at all times on a fully illuminated flag pole.

The Taoiseach told Defences Forces officials in a speech marking the move that this is because last year’s 1916 commemorations have brought a “new respect” for the flag.

“The national flag, from this day and this night on, will always fly here, fully illuminated as a testament to the importance of Ireland’s flag flying proudly in Government Buildings,” he said.

The change in policy is one of a number of Easter commemoration events this week, which will also include the annual Easter Sunday parade from 12pm tomorrow which will be attended by Mr Kenny and President Michael D Higgins; a wreath-laying ceremony for victims of 1916; and a series of free events around the country as part of the arts-commemoration Cruinniú na Cásca.

Meanwhile, at a separate 1916 event yesterday, Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald told an Arbour Hill rally that Mr Kenny’s “failure” to ensure a designated status for Northern Ireland in Brexit talks is a “betrayal to the people of Ireland”.

“The Taoiseach is a bystander in the Brexit negotiations.

“He needs to step up and start fighting our corner,” she said.

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