Written Answers. - Repeal of Flags and Emblems Act.

8.

asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been drawn to a report in the London Times of 10 March 1986 that Mr. King is not prepared to repeal the Flags and Emblems Act; and if he will state the position in this case.

I am aware of the article to which the Deputy refers. I would refer the Deputy to the joint statement of the meetings of the Anglo-Irish Inter-Governmental Conference of 10 January and 11 March which set out the position, namely:

Joint Statement of 10 January:

The Irish side also put forward views and proposals on legislation relating to Flags and Emblems in Northern Ireland...In accordance with the provisions of the Agreement, the British side undertook to consider these views and proposals before decisions were taken. The views of other interested parties expressed outside the Conference would also be taken into account.

Joint Statement of 11 March:

Responding to the Irish views and proposals put forward at an earlier meeting about the Flags and Emblems (Display) Act, the British side described the draft legislation relating to public order in Great Britain currently before Parliament (the Public Order Bill), and explained the desirability of bringing the existing public order legislation for Northern Ireland into line so far as possible with that for Great Britain. The question of Flags and Emblems in Northern Ireland would be addressed in the context of the extension as appropriate, by Order in Council, of this draft legislation to Northern Ireland.