Donncha MacNiallais on new flags and emblems group

Donncha MacNiallais.
Donncha MacNiallais.

A Derry man who helped broker the city’s historic parades deal in the 1990s is included on a new Stormont body attempting to address the contentious issues around flags and emblems.

Donncha MacNiallais is one of fifteen members of the Commission on Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition.

Its remit is to focus on flags and emblems and, where required, on broader issues of identity, culture and tradition.

Donnacha MacNiallais, a fluent Irish speaker, was a member of the Bogside Residents’ Group (BRG) which, along with a number of local businessmen, helped negotiate an agreement with the loyal orders over parades in the city more than 20 years ago.

The membership of the new Commission was announced today by First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

Mrs Foster said: “The Commission presents a unique opportunity to take a fresh approach to dealing with the complexities of flags, identity, culture and tradition.”

Mr. McGuinness added: “We must develop a society which is open, tolerant and mutually respectful. This Commission will contribute to this and pave the way for greater awareness and understanding of differing cultural identities.”