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Glasgow pubs warned against sectarian activity ahead of Easter Rising centenary events

28/03/2016. 1916 Easter Rising Centenary Celebration. Pictured people watch as members of Republican Sinn Fein having their easter parade. They†marched towards the GPO through the North inner City of Dublin today. Photo:Sam Boal/ RollingNews.ie
Part of the Easter Rising parade in Dublin – Pub owners in Glasgow have been warned against any religiously motivated flags (Photo: RollingNews.ie)

PUBLICANS across Glasgow have been warned against promoting any sectarian activity if they plan Easter Rising centenary events. 

Police Scotland has issued many of the city’s bars and social clubs with a notice advising them not to display politically motivated items, including flags and banners, when hosting 1916 commemorations.

The policy has drawn criticism from pub owners who believe that it interferes with their right to freedom of expression.

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Danny Rodgers, pub manager at the Tall Cranes in Glasgow, told The Irish Post that while he hadn’t yet received the notice, he was disappointed with the warning.

Mr Rodgers – whose parents hail from Donegal – said: “It’s my ground it’s not an illegal flag. I’d put up Celtic flags and the tricolor regardless; it’s about freedom of expression.”

Asked whether the pub had plans to host any 1916 events, he said: “We’ve got a marching band [the James Connolly Republican Flute Band (Glasgow)] starting off at the pub next Saturday and parading around Glasgow.”

Governed by the city’s licensing board, the policy for licensed premises is aimed at preventing “malicious or ill‐intentioned conduct on the basis of race, politics or religion”.

It references the public concern within Glasgow and elsewhere in Scotland surrounding sectarian conduct, which focuses on the religious divide between Catholics and Protestants.

It also warns pubs against displaying material with colours, images, designs, insignia or words associated with the Catholic or Protestant religious divide and states that activities or entertainment with such a religious association should not be permitted.

A spokesman for the council’s licensing board told The Irish Post that the document was handed out ahead of any upcoming 1916 commemorative events.

“In Glasgow’s case this notice does reference sectarian conduct,” he said. “The vast majority of premises don’t have any difficulties in that area, but it’s about letting people know what’s expected. In terms of flags and banners, there’s nothing that says you can’t have them. It’s about the content.

“The premises can identify with a particular football club, but it’s about the content of any memorabilia that’s displayed. While you can have a sign that says it is to do with Rangers or Celtic, you can’t have wording or design that has religious, racial or sectarian content. It’s not a blanket ban.”

Manager of McNeill’s pub, Bill Donnelly – whose grandfather is from Dublin – said that he had received the notice, but that he didn’t have any 1916 events scheduled.

He said: “We’ve no events planned itself. The pub used to be Celtic, it used to be owned by former Celtic player and manager Billy McNeill. It’s changed now though, there’s more Protestants that come to the bar so we won’t be having any 1916 events.”

Police Scotland said that the policy was aimed at helping the officers appropriately police any potential protests against the events.

A spokeswoman said: “In reference to Easter Rising Centenary commemorations, officers asked licensees to contact the Licensing Department if they planned to host any significant, commemorative events so that any protests against these could be policed proportionately.

“A number of Easter Rising commemorative events have taken place in the city, most recently a public procession on April 3 organised by the West of Scotland Bands Association, and all were successful, without incident or protest.”

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Nemesha Balasundaram
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Nemesha Balasundaram is a Reporter with The Irish Post. Follow her on Twitter @nemeshaB

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One comment on “Glasgow pubs warned against sectarian activity ahead of Easter Rising centenary events”

  1. Cáitlín

    What is it with all this Catholic/Protestant? So out of date, lazy and totally misses the point. The issue is not as simple as made out and is not about religion but about a difference in ideology .

    The problem in Scotland is the power given to police by politicians. The SNP introduced Offensive Behaviour at Football Act following a football game between Celtic and Rangers during which there was some 'incidents' and as claimed by an SNP politician the introdction of the Act was all about 'evening up the score'. We have seen the Act used widely to harass, intimidate and criminalise so many. The police abuse this regularly and have even boasted about it (Tommy McCrindle). Some police had cases thrown out of court as they have been found to be lying.
    For further info please read http://fansagainstcriminalisation.com/ They are a group who have done trojan work and help and support so many.
    The latest dictats from Police Scotland re the Easter Rising comes as no surprise, neither is the silence from Irish politicians.

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