Office of the Speaker

Welcome to the Office of the Speaker Home Page

The Seapker, Mr William Hay MLAMy name is William Hay and I was elected as Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly on 7 May 2007, the two previous Speakers having been appointed by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

I am immensely proud to be the first elected Speaker of the Assembly and consider it an honour and a privilege to have been elected unanimously by my peers.

As Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly I perform three main roles: procedural, corporate and representational.

Procedural Role

In this role I chair plenary sessions of the Assembly, calling Members to speak on debates, maintaining order in the Chamber and replying to areas of dispute raised by Members. As Speaker, I am politically impartial and do not participate in any debates in the Assembly. In this work I am assisted by two Deputy Speakers: Mr John Dallat (SDLP), Mr Roy Beggs (UUP) and a principal Deputy Speaker Mitchel McLaughlin  (SF). I also chair meetings of the Business Committee which is responsible for determining the business to be discussed in plenary sessions.

Corporate Role

In this role I chair the Assembly Commission which is responsible under legislation to ensure that the Assembly is provided with the property, staff and services it requires to carry out its work.

Representational Role

US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton with William Hay MLAAs Speaker I also perform an important representational role which includes: receiving VIP visitors to the Assembly, such as Heads of State, Ambassadors and senior political figures; attending external events to promote the work of the Northern Ireland Assembly, such as officially opening the Assembly marquee at the Balmoral Show; and hosting events at Parliament Buildings to widen public access to their locally devolved institution, such as the Speaker’s St. Patrick’s Day Event and Christmas Reception.

‘The City Revisited – A Rephotographic Study’
‘The City Revisited – A Rephotographic Study’
‘The City Revisited – A Rephotographic Study’



Events hosted by the Speaker 2014

Since the Speaker, Mr William Hay MLA, was elected in May 2007 he has welcomed many Presidents, Ambassadors and dignitaries to Parliament Buildings. The Speaker hosts a range of events designed to promote an understanding of the Assembly as an institution and to develop links with the wider Northern Ireland community.

Events in 2014

A gallery featuring events or functions attended or hosted by the Speaker in 2014 can be found below.

You can also view a gallery of events from previous years by clicking one of the following links: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007

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