Press Release

Speaker Hosts Lecture On Perspective On The Ulster Covenant

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Monday, 24 September 2012

Reference: SO 01/12/13

The Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Mr William Hay MLA, hosted an event in Parliament Buildings this evening as part of the "Perspectives On..." series agreed by the Assembly Commission to mark the decade of centenaries within Parliament Buildings. The Assembly Commission is the corporate body of the Assembly chaired by the Speaker, with one member from each of the main parties.

In addition to MLAs, guests at the event included the the Ceann Comhairle Mr. Seán Barrett T.D.; the Shadow Secretary of State, Vernon Coaker MP; representatives from the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee including Kate Hoey MP; Naomi Long MP and Ian Paisley Jnr MP; and Mr Frank Feighan TD from the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

The Speaker said: "I am delighted that I have been able to host this event to mark the centenary of the Ulster Covenant in Parliament Buildings, particularly with Members from a range of parties in attendance. Jonathan Bardon's lecture provided a basis to reflect on the facts of the Ulster Covenant and the politics of the time, and for Members and guests to give their own reflections on it.

"The whole point of the "Perspectives On..." series is that while for instance the Ulster Covenant is of great significance to me personally as a unionist, it is part of the history which has led us all to where we are today. There is value for all of us in exploring it."

"It is also significant that we were joined this evening by guests from both Westminster and the Oireachtas. The Covenant and other events we are marking throughout the decade of centenaries had an impact on the UK and Ireland as a whole and it is only right that the interest in them goes beyond Northern Ireland."


Notes to Editors:

The Northern Ireland Assembly Commission was appointed by resolution of the Assembly on the 23 May 2011.

The Commission is the body corporate of the Northern Ireland Assembly. It has the responsibility, under section 40(4) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, to provide the Assembly, or ensure that the Assembly is provided with the property, staff and services required for the Assembly to carry out its work.

The Members of the Commission are:

The Speaker, William Hay MLA (Chair), Judith Cochrane MLA, Leslie Cree MLA, Barry McElduff MLA, Pat Ramsey MLA and Peter Weir MLA.

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