A County Tyrone woman, Helen McMahon, is putting forth a case in court to remove the British flag from courthouses in the North because it represents nationalists being denied equal treatment.
Her case is centered around the Omagh courthouse, wherein her legal team asserts that the requirement for the British standard to be full mast on certain days breaches the terms of the Good Friday Agreement flags regulations.
Martin O’Rourke QC stated in court that “It demonstrates the absence of any consideration of the parity of esteem provisions.”
The flag being raised at full mast on these select days shows, as per O’Rourke, that it stands against the commitment in the North to ensure equality for both nationalist and unionist communities, whether it be through culture, regulations, and so on.
The potential solution would be that all flags are removed from the courthouses and other public administration buildings so as to prevent one side or the other feeling alienated.
The defense, on the other hand, claims that this legal challenge has no real base and is of strange timing since this ruling came into effect eight years ago.
“She [McMahon] does not explain how the flying of the flag at Omagh Courthouse impacts on her,” Tony McGleenan QC stated in retaliation.
“The applicant gives no real information about herself or her interest in the process, other than to say she is a member of the nationalist community,” McGleenan added.