Former Mid Ulster DUP MLA Ian McCrea to sit on flags and culture commission

Marching, flags and culture will all be up for discussion
Marching, flags and culture will all be up for discussion

Former DUP MLA, Ian McCrea is the Mid Ulster’s only representative on the new Commission on Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition.

Announced by Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness on June 20, the list includes just one woman, and five unionists were given a seat - two more than the three nationalists appointed.

Made up of seven representatives put forward by political parties, the other eight on the 15-member committee were decided through a recruitment competition that was open to the public.

But two of the successful nonpolitical candidates come from a unionist background - leading the SDLP to question the make-up of the panel.

Prominent Orangeman David Hume, a former director of services for the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland and former DUP councillor Ian Crozier, both got a seat through the public application process.

Queen’s University’s Dr Dominic Bryan, who last year published research on flags and has advised OFMDFM, and Fermanagh community relations worker Neville Armstrong will co-chair the Commission.

A spokesperson for the Executive Office said: “In line with the Fresh Start agreement, published on 17 November 2015, seven members were appointed by the leaders of the five main political parties; two each from the two largest parties and one each from the other three main parties.

“The process for selecting eight non-politically nominated members was an independently managed one.

“It involved a public call for applications which was open to anyone to apply,” they added.

“This was followed by an assessment against set criteria, after which the appointments were made along with the appointment of seven nominees from the DUP, Sinn Fein, UUP, SDLP and the Alliance Party.”