Written answers

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Department of An Taoiseach

National Flag

Photo of Finian McGrathFinian McGrath (Dublin North Central, Independent)
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170. To ask the Taoiseach the reason the Tricolour was flown at half-mast recently following the death of the King of Saudi Arabia, which country has the worst human rights record in the world; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4378/15]

Photo of Seán CroweSeán Crowe (Dublin South West, Sinn Fein)
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173. To ask the Taoiseach if the flag over Government Buildings was flown at half-mast on 23 January 2015 to mark the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia; if his office decided this action; if he requested other Departments to do the same; and the number of times flags have been flown at half-mast over Government Buildings for the death of foreign leaders since March 2011. [4519/15]

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 170 and 173 together.

It is customary for the National Flag to be flown at half mast on prominent Government Buildings on the death in office of a Head of State as a mark of respect for a nation with which we have close connections or have had recent engagements with.

The flag was flown at half mast on Government Buildings on 23rdJanuary to mark the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. The flag was also half-masted at Áras an Uachtaráin, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Department of Transport, Leinster House and the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The decision to half-mast the flag was made in light of advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and our Embassy in Riyadh .

The following table gives details of recent occasions when the flag has been flown at half-mast.

President Lech Kaczynski of Poland18/04/2010
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia23/01/2015

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