Northern Ireland Assembly
Speaker Marks 1000th Plenary Sitting of the Assembly
The Assembly Speaker Alex Maskey MLA, today marked the 1000th plenary sitting of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Addressing MLAs as today’s Assembly business got underway, the Speaker said:
“As Members will be all too aware, the history of this Assembly has not always been smooth, to say the least. Nonetheless, today is a milestone.
“We should never forget that this Assembly is essentially on probation in the eyes of the public and that building public confidence in our institutions requires constant attention.”
The Speaker continued:
“In marking the 1000th sitting, we are not ignoring the issues and challenges there have been and will continue to be. This process has not been easy and at times, those of my generation would not have thought this Assembly was possible. Indeed, as one of the few Members remaining since 1998, I would reflect that relationships and the nature of debates in the Assembly Chamber are transformed from how they were in the early days.
“Recent discussion in relation to the pressure on the Assembly to consider legislation before the end of this mandate has underlined the general political and public agreement about how important this Assembly and the Executive are to tackling issues of public concern.
“The politics of events over the years are for others to comment on but, I think it is important for me to acknowledge all those who have played their part in getting us to this point.
“I know that colleagues past and present from parties across the Assembly have had to take difficult decisions at times, make sacrifices and face criticism in order to move this Assembly forward. I want to recognise the public service of all those who have been involved in those efforts, including those who are no longer with us.
“I particularly want to thank the officials and staff who have supported this Assembly and its Members since 1998, often going above and beyond the call of duty. By its very nature, their work normally happens quietly, unsung and unnoticed, but officials have also been important in making progress at key points in our political process.”
The Speaker concluded:
‘We cannot be complacent. Dealing with the divisions in our community and making this Assembly work have never been easy and the number of difficult issues will always be outnumbered by those who think the solutions are simple.
“However, while we do not forget our past, this Assembly does give us the opportunity to work together to focus on the future. There will be some busy months ahead to demonstrate that.”
For media inquiries please contact:
Northern Ireland Assembly
Tel: 028 90 521137
Latest News from
Northern Ireland Assembly
Assembly Commission Launches New Display in Parliament Buildings25/03/2022 12:43:00
The Northern Ireland Assembly Commission (the Assembly Commission) recently (23 March 2022) launched a new permanent display of items and images in Parliament Buildings.
Committee says Lessons can be Learnt from £165 Million Project Stratum21/03/2022 10:43:00
The Northern Ireland Assembly Public Accounts Committee (the Committee) recently (18 March 2022) published a report, entitled Broadband Investment in Northern Ireland.
Assembly Commission Agrees New Artefacts Display in Parliament Buildings17/03/2022 12:43:00
The Northern Ireland Assembly Commission (the Assembly Commission) has agreed to produce a new permanent display of artefacts in Parliament Buildings.
Tree Planting Ceremony held at Parliament Buildings to mark Queen’s Platinum Jubilee15/03/2022 16:15:00
A tree planting ceremony was held in the grounds of Parliament Buildings to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Today’s ceremony was a key part of a wider event to celebrate Commonwealth Day 2022.
“Breaking The Grass Ceiling”: Committee launches report on the barriers faced by women in the local agriculture sector09/03/2022 12:33:00
The Assembly’s Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee yesterday launched its ‘Breaking the Grass Ceiling’ Report which highlights the barriers faced by local women working in agriculture.
Northern Ireland Budget Process should be More Accessible and Linked to the Programme for Government04/03/2022 13:43:00
The Northern Ireland Assembly Public Accounts Committee has today published a report, entitled Review of the Northern Ireland Budget Process.
Committee Finds Sports Sustainability Fund of £23 million Did Not Adhere to Best Practice28/02/2022 12:33:00
The Northern Ireland Assembly Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has published a report, entitled Sports Sustainability Fund.
Bill of Rights Committee Publishes Report16/02/2022 15:33:00
The Assembly’s Ad Hoc Committee on a Bill of Rights recently (14 February 2022) published its report after almost two years of engagement with a wide range of experts in human rights and constitutional law, including those who have helped shape a bill of rights in other jurisdictions.
Communities Committee publishes report on new gambling legislation16/02/2022 13:38:00
The Assembly’s Committee for Communities has published its report on the new Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (Amendment) Bill, which will bring about necessary and long-awaited amendments to the existing legislation which has remained largely unchanged since 1985.