Call for ‘Ulster banner’ to be hoisted above Stormont

Northern Ireland's Media Centre in St Georges de Reneins, France which will be in use during the Euros 2016.
Northern Ireland's Media Centre in St Georges de Reneins, France which will be in use during the Euros 2016.

A Co Armagh man has called for MLA’s to allow the flying of the ‘Ulster banner’ above Stormont in support of the Northern Ireland team during the Euros.

The idea has been mooted by mature student Mervyn Henry, 43, from outside Poyntzpass who says the suggestion “is not about party politics, it is about pride”.

Northern Ireland's team coach as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure

Northern Ireland's team coach as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure

Mr Henry, who is in the second year of an Honours degree in Community Development at the University of Ulster, said he initially suggested the idea on Facebook.

Mr Henry, who describes himself as “an Ulster Protestant and a Christian” posed the question - “I think that the Ulster banner should be flown over Stormont, in support of the Northern Ireland football team. SHARE IF YOU AGREE” on his Facebook page on June 2.

He said within a short space of time he had “around 1700 shares”.

“I am passionate about my country and about the Northern Ireland team and the Ulster rugby team,” he added.

Mervyn Henry

Mervyn Henry

“I watch all our boys, Rory Mclroy and Carl Frampton. Why can’t we as a nation support and promote the young fellas we have and why can’t we fly a flag in support of them?

“So I got to thinking the other night that would it not be great if the politicians we have, who a month ago were running about beating on doors and televisions saying we want to represent you in the Northern Ireland assembly, could arrange the flying of the Ulster banner over Stormont in support of the Northern Ireland football team.

“So I am now calling for MLA’s to do this for the people of Northern Ireland to unite us under one flag.”

He added: “I think the Ulster banner should be flown in support of our boys, going to play on the football fields of France. “This isn’t about party politics, what group or organisation we belong to.

“It is about everyone uniting under the Ulster banner as one nation, in support of our national team.”