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.

Alan Meban. Normally to be found blogging over at Alan in Belfast where you’ll find an irregular set of postings, weaving an intricate pattern around a diverse set of subjects. Comment on cinema, books, technology and the occasional rant about life. On Slugger, the posts will mainly be about political events and processes. Tweets as @alaninbelfast.