City Hall ‘should not be used for event on international law and state of Israel’

City Hall ‘should not be used for event on international law and state of Israel’
EEjob 25/04/2014 /Echo News. /Pictured is Cllr Ken O'Flynn, candidate in the Cork North Central Ward, at the Fianna Fail Comhairle Ceantair Press Launch, at the Commons Inn, Cork. /Picture: Jim Coughlan.

A CITY Councillor has questioned the wisdom of allowing City Hall to be used for a conference on international law and the state of Israel. 

After the staging at University College Cork was initially postponed in January, pending finalisation of arrangements for location and security, organisers announced last week that it would go ahead over three days.

While it was previously proposed to take place entirely at UCC, the first two days’ proceedings will now be at Cork City Hall and UCC will be the venue for the final day, Sunday, April 2.

City councillor Kenneth O’Flynn has questioned the decision to allow the Millennium Hall to be used to host the conference.

He said:"A local City Hall should remain out of such complex and challenging international conflicts. It does the city no favours to be associated with such events. We are trying to promote our city as a destination to come to visit and this conference is putting Cork on the map for the wrong reasons.

"We have international actresses like film star Roseanne Barr calling for people to boycott Cork and Ireland. It is shameful that City Hall would provide such a conference a space."

"City Hall must seek to promote positive inter-community relations and this event will certainly not do that. City Hall must not allow its name or the name of Cork itself to be dragged through the mud."

"We should also be asking: who will pay for the extra security needed? Who will pay for the extra Gardaí? The local taxpayer."

UCC had faced criticism that the earlier postponement was an attack on academic freedom, after opposition about the proposed subject of papers and the range of speakers were described as being predominantly anti-Israeli.

Under the title of ‘International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Exceptionalism and Responsibility’, the organisers have said the conference also includes pro-Israel speakers such as Professor Geoffrey Alderman of University of Buckingham in Britain.

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