Proposal to fly Palestinian flag over Dublin City Hall rejected

Motion to fly flag supported by the majority of councillors but didn’t meet threshold for approval

A proposal to fly a Palestinian flag over Dublin City Hall on Dame Street as “an act of solidarity with the people of Gaza” and a “public display of opposition to the murder of Palestinian civilians” has been rejected by Dublin city councillors.

An emergency motion to fly the flag was proposed by the Independent group on the council and was supported by Sinn Féin, the Green Party, Labour, Social Democrats and People before Profit. However, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael councillors either rejected or abstained on the vote.

While 39 of the 57 councillors at the monthly city council meeting supported the motion, as it was an emergency motion, support of three quarters of those present would be required for the motion to pass.

The vote followed an appeal from Israeli ambassador Dana Erlich on Monday to “examine the full facts of the current tragic conflict, which was instigated by the Hamas terrorist organisation” before deciding to fly the flag.


In a letter to acting council chief executive Richard Shakespeare Ms Erlich asked the council executive to consider the Israeli and Jewish community in Ireland “with regard to the symbolism that a Palestinian flag flying on City Hall has”.

She added the embassy had received “a lot of support from the Irish public, espousing empathy and sympathy following the massacre in Israel on October 7th″ but many feared “public displays in support of Israel may be targeted with protests, threats of violence and more anti-Semitic manifestations”.

Independent group leader Cieran Perry, who proposed the motion said flying the flag would “show our disgust at the continuation of the Israeli genocide against the Palestinians, and hopefully encourage an immediate ceasefire”.

Noting the growing death toll in Gaza he said: “Every effort must be made to stop the slaughter and tackle the humanitarian crisis caused by the relentless assault on the population of Gaza”.

Fianna Fáil group leader Deirdre Heney said she would support flying a “flag of peace” over City Hall, but did not believe flying a Palestinian flag would do anything to resolve the current conflict.

Fine Gael’s James Geoghegan also said his party would support a flag of peace. However, councillor Mannix Flynn and several others sought clarity on what a flag of peace constituted and the matter had not been resolved before the meeting ended.

The Palestinian flag has previously been flown over City Hall. In May 2017, the then People Before Profit councillor John Lyons, now an Independent, proposed the idea to mark 50 years of Israeli occupation in the West Bank and to show the support of the international community for the Palestinian people.

The decision was criticised by the Israeli ambassador at the time Ze’ev Boker and former minister for justice Alan Shatter.

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times