Assembly Standing Orders

Part of the debate – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:30 pm on 9th March 1999.

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Photo of Mr Maurice Morrow Mr Maurice Morrow DUP 2:30 pm, 9th March 1999

I want to make one or two comments. I am absolutely astounded at some of the arguments that have been put forward here today, in particular by those who are the greatest exponents of the Belfast Agreement.

I listened with interest to the comments of those who were most vociferous in their support of the agreement. When the Unionist side of the equation was going round the streets selling the agreement, one of the arguments that they kept putting forward was that, at long last, transparent Government was going to be part and parcel of Northern Ireland’s future, but it is interesting to note that the two largest parties within this Assembly, who were the greatest advocates of it, want to put a shield around the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister for reasons best known to themselves. In all their arguments they have not been convincing as to why they want to do this, but even more puzzling, I think, is the stance that Sinn Féin has taken. Michelle Gildernew read out a speech. Obviously someone had written it for her, and she did not read it before she came in, because she started off on one trend — [Interruption]

I am coming to it now. And then she contradicted herself.