Council rejects ‘light up’ call for Irish language

Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council (LCCC) has refused a request to light up its headquarters in support of Irish language campaigners.

Councillors were told this, and a separate light up request to show support for the war in Ukraine, did not fall within their guidelines.

The request was made by Irish language campaign group Dream Dearg to coincide with a planned rally at Belfast City Hall this weekend (May 21) but was rejected on Monday night.

Frances Byrne, LCCC head of corporate communications, said: “It is recommended to decline the requested light up as they do not meet the criteria set out in the building illumination policy and no exceptional circumstances have been identified.

Nicholas Trimble

“The request was not received within two calendar months. The request has not come from a registered charity, formally constituted group or public body.”

The recommendation to refuse was proposed by Alderman Owen Gawith (Alliance) and seconded by councillor Nicholas Trimble (UUP).

The members also refused a second request, by Ards and North Down Borough Council, to light up its offices in respect of the war in Ukraine.

Lagan Valley Island was previously illuminated in support of Ukraine in February.

A full year of illuminations at the civic centre is estimated to cost the council in the region of £7,200 if the maximum 60 light ups are made.

This year, there have been 38 illuminations approved so far and only a maximum of six are allowed each month.