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Speaker Announces Initial Programme of Engagement Events for March

The Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly Alex Maskey MLA has today announced a programme of events for March 2020, noting that community engagement will be one of his top priorities for this Assembly session. 

The timetable of events will begin with a special Young Women’s Debate to mark International Women’s Day on the 6 March and a Speaker’s Reception to celebrate Commonwealth Day on the 9 March. These will be followed on 10 March with a Speaker’s reception to mark Seachtain na Gaeilge (Irish Language Week) and a St Patrick’s Day celebration on 16 March, which will this year focus on the mental health sector. 

Speaking today, the Speaker yesterday said: 

“How business is done in the Assembly has a major part to play in building public confidence, but how the Assembly interacts with the community it represents is also crucial to strengthening relationships between the public and their political representatives, and to shaping public views of the Assembly.”

The Speaker continued: 

“We live in a diverse society and I want to use my representational role as Speaker to ensure that everyone in our community feels that the Assembly takes account of their interests and is open to hearing their views.

“Even in these early days following the restoration of the Assembly, I hope that the programme of events announced today will serve as a positive indication of my intended approach to the role of Speaker.”

The Speaker concluded: 

“The fact that someone from my background is willing to act as President of the Assembly Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, and that I am hosting the first Speaker’s event to officially mark Seachtain na Gaeilge in Parliament Buildings, I hope will demonstrate my intention to represent all parts of our community.”  

Notes to Editor:

  • March 6: Young Women’s Debate in the Assembly Chamber to mark International Women’s Day.
  • March 9: Speaker’s Reception to mark Commonwealth Day.
  • March 10: Speaker’s Reception to mark Seachtain na Gaelige (Irish Language Week).
  • March 16: Speaker’s St Patrick’s Reception with a focus on the mental health sector


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