Belfast City’s Council voted against the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) on Monday and decided to continue the tradition, started in 2011, of hanging an Irish “Happy Christmas” sign above Belfast’s City Hall.
Last year the festival signs were featured in English on the front of the building and in Irish over the side entrance.
On Monday night at Belfast City Council’s policy and resources committee, the DUP proposed to replace the Irish sign with one which would feature 18 different languages, those languages spoken by residents of Belfast City.
However this proposal backed by the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) was outvoted 29 to 19 by the Alliance Party, Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and Sinn Fein.
Mervyn Jones of the Alliance Party told the Belfast Newsletter, “To be honest, any sign which had 18 languages on it would not be visible from the road. The end result of it all was that things remain the same as they were last year.”
DUP’s Alderman Ruth Patterson said, “It makes you wonder how important equality really is to those parties that voted against us. The languages of all those ethnic minorities who live and work in Belfast will now not be included.”