Ministerial Code: Independent Investigation of Alleged Breaches

Part of Private Members' Business – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 4:45 pm on 24th January 2017.

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Photo of Christopher Stalford Christopher Stalford DUP 4:45 pm, 24th January 2017

I beg your pardon. I apologise. Daithí McKay is now off to that happy land of being the commentator, where you get to talk about everything, do not actually make any decisions and get paid for it.

I listened to his comments and a lot of what he said amounted to effectively policy criticisms of the Minister for Communities. In particular, one of the issues that he cited was the funding of community halls. I would point out to Mr McKay —

[Interruption.]

That is twice. I would point out to Mr McGuigan that since the first cessation of IRA activity, the number of attacks upon Orange halls has skyrocketed.

Hatred for and directed at the Orange Institution and its members has increased. Therefore, when a hall applies for funding — a funding process in which the Minister had no hand in making the decisions about who gets the money — and demonstrates that they meet the set criteria, it is not for anyone to gainsay or deny them their funding, least of all because of the background they come from.