Belfast City Council debate on inviting the ROI & NI football teams to City Hall

Tonight  Belfast City Council rejected two amendments by the DUP and UUP that would have changed the original decision by the council in December to invite the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland football teams for a reception in Belfast City Hall.

Here are some live tweets from myself and Rebecca Black from the Belfast Telegraph from the debate

The debate went on for roughly an hour and was one of the first items up for discussion. The actual debate was relatively civil with little heckling, but there were little surprises in the positions taken by parties.

Sinn Fein, SDLP, Alliance, People Before Profit and  Green Parties held to the original decision taken by the council just a few weeks ago.  Whilst the two main Unionist parties attempted to amend the original motion propose by Cllr Declan Boyle and Cllr Niall Ó Donnghaile.

The DUP had an amendment in saying that this council;

Welcomes the attendance of the Northern Ireland Team, manager and coaches and IFA management at the civic reception held at City Hall on 9th November in celebration of Northern Ireland’s qualification for the European Championship tournament in France.

And also welcomes the qualification of three other national teams from the British isles, England, Wales and the Republic of Ireland-and agrees that the Lord Mayor should write to all four national football associations expressing our congratulations and best wishes to them for the Euro 2016 finals.

This motion was defeated 34-22.

The UUP had an amendment to host a reception for the England, Wales, NI and Republic of Ireland teams.

This amendment was defeated 33-20.

 

David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs