The curious incident of the City Hall and its flag-related security breach

City Hall with Union flag flying over itAround tea time on the 11 July, a bizarre story came to light.

A man had found by security in the City Hall overnight, and allowed to leave the building, claiming (according to UTV) “he had been locked in at a function”. It was later noticed – some reports say by a tourist during the day – that the City Hall’s flag/flag pole was damaged.

By the next morning – the Twelfth – the Union flag was flying from a central flag pole over the City Hall.

However, a councillor yesterday suggested that there were many questions to be answered around the security breach.

  • How did the intruder get access to the City Hall?
  • Why did the City Hall’s overnight security staff release the intruder without informing the police (or taking details to be able to identify the man)?
  • Was the incident picked up by the City Hall’s CCTV?
  • Why was there no subsequent security sweep of the building to discover if the intruder had left anything more sinister than a damaged flag/flag pole behind?

UTV further explained:

A police spokesperson said: “Police have received a report this afternoon [11 July] from Belfast City Council regarding the alleged theft of a union flag overnight.”

No-one has been arrested over the incident and police say they are liaising with the city council.