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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS OF THE FOURTH MEETING OF THE AD HOC COMMITTEE ON FLAGS (NI) ORDER HELD IN THE SENATE CHAMBER, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS ON THURSDAY 5 OCTOBER 2000
Present:Mr F Agnew (Chairman)
In Attendance:Mr M RickardMiss J Adair
The Committee met at 2.38 pm.
The Chairman welcomed Mrs P Lewsley and Sir John Gorman who were substituting for Mr J Dallat and Dr E Birnie.
2.Minutes of meeting of 2 October 2000
The minutes of the meeting of 2 October 2000 were agreed.
3.Presentation by the Equality Commission
The Chairman welcomed Mrs Harbison, Chairperson of the Equality Commission, and her colleagues to the meeting.
Ms Gildernew joined the meeting at 2.43 pm.
Mrs Harbison began the presentation by introducing her colleagues who accompanied her. They were Chief Executive Ms Evelyn Collins, Mr Paul Donaghy, Mr Keith Brown and Mr Ciaran Bradley. Mrs Harbison went on to detail information on current relevant provisions within the Commission's statutory remit and make comment on the proposed Flags Regulations.
There then followed a question and answer session during which Mrs Harbison stated that copies of the Commission's address would be made available to Committee members at the end of the presentation.
Mr Murphy left the meeting at 2.53 pm and returned at 2.56 pm.
Mr Hussey joined the meeting at 3.05 pm.
Mr McElduff joined the meeting at 3.26 pm and left at 3.37 pm.
Ms Gildernew left the meeting at 3.50 pm and returned at 3.55 pm.
At the conclusion of the question and answer session the Chairman thanked Mrs Harbison and her colleagues for their attendance.
The Equality Commission members left the meeting at 4.05 pm.
Mrs Lewsley and Mr Maginness left the meeting at 4.05 pm.
4.Matters Arising from the Previous Minutes of Proceedings
The Chairman reported that a response had been received from Mr Loughran, Head of the Civil Service to state that he was unable to attend the Committee on the offered dates.
Following discussion on this issue Committee members expressed their strong dissatisfaction with Mr Loughran's decision not to attend and that some members of the media knew of this decision before the Committee did.
Members stated that if time had permitted the Committee would have sought the power to call witnesses.
The Chairman asked that Mr Robinson's comment regarding his request for the Committee to obtain a copy of the Rt Hon John Taylor's document on policing and flags be noted.
The Chairman asked the Clerk to clarify the proposal that was put to the meeting on 25 September.
The Clerk read from the initial verbatim version of the proceedings.
It was agreed that the report would set out a series of propositions reflecting the views within the Committee and the level of support for those views.
5.Update on Submissions received on Proposed Regulations
The Chairman confirmed that submissions had been received from all the groupings represented in the Committee.
Three external submissions were received in response to the Press Release.
Following discussion on the way forward the Clerk was instructed to prepare an initial draft of the Committee Report that draws out the various propositions contained within each grouping's submission.
The next meeting of the Committee is to be held on Monday, 9 October at 4.00 pm in the Senate Chamber.
The meeting closed at 4.20 pm.
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