Stormont Estate: Commemorative Events and Memorials

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland Assembly Commission – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:00 pm on 15th March 2022.

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Photo of Mervyn Storey Mervyn Storey DUP 3:00 pm, 15th March 2022

10. Mr Storey asked the Assembly Commission whether the Department of Finance has consulted the Commission in relation to the review of policies governing commemorative events and memorials on the Stormont estate. (AQO 3298/17-22)

Photo of John Blair John Blair Alliance

I thank the Member for his question. The Department of Finance engaged with Assembly Commission officials to consider the policies and decision-making processes that the Assembly Commission has in place to govern events and requests for commemorations in Parliament Buildings. In particular, Assembly Commission officials provided an update on the review of artefacts that the Assembly Commission has recently conducted and the principles that were agreed for that process. Those principles were agreed by all parties on the Assembly Commission and acknowledge the need to be inclusive of and sensitive to different political views across the Assembly. If the Department of Finance seeks further formal input from the Assembly Commission, that will, of course, be considered positively. However, it is for the Department of Finance to determine how any review dealing with the Stormont estate is conducted.

Photo of Mervyn Storey Mervyn Storey DUP

I thank the Commission member for his answer. A successful event was held in the grounds of the estate on Monday — Commonwealth Day — to mark Her Majesty's platinum jubilee. Does that not show that, when there is an absence of bigotry and political prejudice, an agreement can be reached that accurately reflects the history of Northern Ireland? Will the Member commit to having further discussions with the Department of Finance to ensure that the outstanding issues regarding our history and heritage, on which there has been a failure on its part to deliver, will be looked at?

Photo of John Blair John Blair Alliance

I am not in a position to make a commitment on behalf of the Commission, but I am sure that the points that the Member has raised will be considered.

The event that the Member referred to was, of course, held within the precincts of Parliament Buildings. Therefore, it was a matter for the Assembly Commission, not the Department.