3,000 Visitors to Parliament Building this Summer
Date: Sunday, 28 August 2011
Reference: SO 07/11/12
The Northern Ireland Assembly today welcomed Justyna Janiszewska - the 3,000 th visitor to Parliament Buildings this summer. Justyna was among a group here to take advantage of the Assembly’s free guided tours of Parliament Buildings.
Throughout the summer, the new guided tours have welcomed people from across Northern Ireland as well as tourists from China, Canada and Australia. The tours take place on the hour every hour between 10am and 3pm on Monday to Friday until the end of August. When the Assembly returns in September the tours will be available at 10am and 3pm.
As well as visiting the Assembly and Senate Chambers, working Committee rooms and the historic Library, visitors will learn interesting facts about the building. Visitors will hear how the ornate central chandelier in the Great Hall once hung in the apartments in Windsor Castle and the mystery of the red dispatch boxes in the Senate Chamber whose keys have been lost forever.
Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Mr William Hay MLA, said: “Parliament Buildings is a truly amazing environment to work in and I’m delighted that so many people have come to visit the building and hear about the work that goes on here.
“One of my priorities as Speaker has been to open the building to the people it represents and this summer was an opportunity to do that. This building belongs to the people of Northern Ireland and we are keen to share its history and beauty with as many people as we can.
“These new tours will also give people a real opportunity to see where their MLAs debate the big issues of the day and work to improve Northern Ireland for all of us. Hopefully, it will also encourage more people to come back and engage with their MLAs when the Assembly is considering issues they feel strongly about.”
As well as the historic Parliament Buildings, the wider Stormont Estate provides all the elements for a great day out. Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic or just walk around the beautiful grounds including the Peace Garden and the Mo Mowlam children’s park