Media Handbook

Contents

1. Introduction and Code of Conduct

2. Media Passes & General Information

3. Interviews

4. Media Facilities & Services

5. Other Facilities

6. Access times for Parliament Buildings

7. Freedom of Information Requests

8. General Media Enquiries

9. Contact Numbers

10. Additional RHI Inquiry Information

11. Essential Health and Safety Information

 

1. Introduction and Code of Conduct

Introduction

One of the hallmarks of democracy is people’s right to access clear, regular and independent information. In recognition of this, the Northern Ireland Assembly supports the work of the media, provides office space and facilitates access within Parliament Buildings.

The Assembly’s Communications Office is located in Room B4, Parliament Buildings. Media queries are dealt with between the hours of 9am and 5pm, Monday – Friday (excluding Public and Bank Holidays).  For further information and support please telephone 028 9052 1137 or email info@niassembly.gov.uk.

This document sets out the parameters and conduct which the media must adhere to when working in Parliament Buildings. This also applies as the protocol media should follow in and around Parliament Buildings for the duration of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Inquiry.

For information on and/or media enquires about the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Inquiry, please contact Deric Henderson on 07802 175350 or by email at deric@derichendersonmedia.com

If your enquiry is in relation to an Executive Department or Ministerial activity, please contact the Executive Information Service (EIS) via the relevant Departmental press office.

Political Party press contact details can be found here.

 

Code of Conduct

Parliament Buildings is a working environment. All media pass holders should treat Assembly Secretariat staff, MLAs, their staff, RHI Inquiry staff and visitors to the Assembly with due courtesy and consideration and conduct themselves appropriately.

All media pass holders must observe agreed Assembly regulations about areas that are out-of-bounds and other agreed conventions. Impromptu ‘door-stepping’ interviews on camera, on tape or in person is strictly prohibited. Media pass holders are also reminded that they must observe and respect the privacy of Assembly Secretariat staff, RHI Inquiry Staff and visitors to the Assembly.  

Media pass holders should not act as paid or unpaid lobbyists for any individual or organisation that might seek to influence the political process or benefit from inside knowledge of it and may not use their accredited status to do so.

 

2. Media Passes & General Information

Upon arrival at Parliament Buildings, members of the media who do not have a permanent Assembly media pass should present themselves to staff on the reception desk in the Great Hall. Proof of media accreditation must be presented at this time and this can include a current NUJ card, proof of employment with/or a letter of introduction from a recognised media outlet.

Permanent media passes are provided to media personnel who attend Parliament Buildings on a regular basis and issue is at the discretion of the Northern Ireland Assembly Communications Office. 

Applications for a permanent media pass should be made through the Communications Office, Room B4, Parliament Buildings. Permanent media passes are valid for one year from the date of issue. The expiry date will be printed on the pass and when this date has been reached the pass will become invalid. You will then have to apply for a new pass.  

Media passes must be worn and displayed at all times in Parliament Buildings.

All those holding a permanent Media pass (Regular, Intermediate or Correspondent) must swipe in when they enter Parliament Buildings and swipe out when they leave.

There are four categories of media pass:

1. Media DAY pass 

A temporary daily pass for those media personnel who attend Parliament Buildings occasionally or for specific events. These passes will be issued at the front Reception desk where a photograph will be taken for use on the Media Day Pass and stored for future passes. (More information for Media Day Pass holders is available here).

2. Media REGULAR pass

A permanent pass for those media personnel who attend Parliament Buildings regularly. (More information for Media Regular pass holders is available here).

3. Media INTERMEDIATE pass

A permanent pass for those media personnel who attend Parliament Buildings regularly, and who also require the right to escort visitors. (More information for Media Intermediate pass holders is available here).

4. Media CORRESPONDENT pass

A permanent pass for members of the Assembly Correspondents Group. The Assembly Correspondents Group is made up of members of the media who are primarily based in Parliament Buildings and who mainly report on the business of the Assembly. (More information for Media Correspondent pass holders is available here).

NB: Security requirements take precedence and access arrangements may be redefined at any time to meet specific security needs. Accredited journalists must comply with any request or instruction communicated to them by Usher Services. Health and safety guidance must be observed at all times.

 

Access to Press Gallery of the Assembly Chamber

Automatic door access keypads have been fitted to the doors from the first floor west corridor to the Assembly Chamber Press Gallery. Please contact the Communications Office on 02890 521137 for the access code.

 

Access to the Press Gallery of the Senate Chamber during the RHI Inquiry

Access to the Senate Chamber will be permitted 10 minutes before oral hearings are scheduled to begin. Media can access the public gallery in the Senate Chamber via the Senate Rotunda. If seating in the Senate Chamber reaches full capacity, the first floor Senate Press Gallery will be opened to accommodate members of the media. Sitting days for the RHI Inquiry are normally Tuesday – Thursday 10.15am – 4.30pm (lunch break 1pm – 2pm) and Friday 10.15am – 1pm. The Inquiry does not sit every week, but a timetable will be available on the Inquiry website at www.rhiinquiry.org

 

Accessing Offices

Assembly Secretariat staff, MLAs, party staff and RHI Inquiry staff offices are private. Media personnel must be accompanied by a member of the Assembly Secretariat staff, MLA, party staff member or authorised RHI Inquiry staff before entering any office.

 

Information for Media DAY, Media REGULAR and Media INTERMEDIATE pass holders:

Where can I go?

  • Media facilities in the basement.
  • Catering facilities in the basement (Café Recess, The Blue Flax Restaurant).
  • Catering facilities on the Ground Floor (The Speaker’s Corner Coffee Shop).
  • Catering Facilities on the First Floor (The Members’ Dining Room, Lunch 12pm -2.00pm and Afternoon Tea 2.00pm – 3.30pm). 
  • The Great Hall.
  • Committee rooms on the ground and first floors (during public meetings).
  • Assembly Chamber Press Gallery (while Plenary is in session).
  • The Senate Chamber (when the RHI Inquiry is in public session).  Media can access the public gallery in the Senate Chamber via the Senate Rotunda. If seating in the Senate Chamber reaches full capacity, the first floor Senate Gallery will be opened to accommodate members of the media.  
  • The Long Gallery (to attend events to which the media have been invited). 

 

Where can I not go?

  • The floor of the Assembly Chamber.
  • The floor of the Senate Chamber.
  • The Senate Rotunda (except for access to the Senate Chamber during public hearings of the RHI Inquiry).
  • Business Office.
  • Bill Office.
  • Ground Floor Corridors when Committees are not in session.
  • Voting Lobbies.
  • The Members’ Bar and The Members’ Coffee Lounge (unless escorted by an MLA, party staff, authorised Assembly Secretariat/ RHI Inquiry staff).
  • All Committee rooms during closed session.
  • The Assembly Library.
  • Any other location (except Committee rooms) on the ground, first, second, third and fourth floors (unless escorted by an MLA, party staff, Assembly Secretariat or authorised RHI Inquiry staff).

 

Where can I record without permission from the Communications Office?

  • Any position in the Great Hall (subject to Health and Safety guidance). However, you cannot film with any of the corridors leading off in the background shot, including the area leading to and through the Senate Rotunda.
  • Media facilities in the basement.
  • At the front of the building to get external shots of Parliament Buildings.

For information on any other locations, please contact the Communications Office.

 

You can’t record or film in/into the following areas:

  • Corridors leading off from the Great Hall.
  • The Assembly Chamber.
  • Press Gallery of the Assembly Chamber.
  • Press Gallery of the Senate Chamber.
  • Rotunda leading to the Assembly Chamber.
  • Rotunda leading to the Senate Chamber.
  • The Senate Chamber.  
  • Outside a Committee room when a meeting is in session.
  • The Assembly Library.
  • Any of the catering outlets in Parliament Buildings.
  • Filming inside, into or from any position in the car parks to the East and West of Parliament Buildings is strictly prohibited.

 

Information for Media CORRESPONDENT pass holders:

Where can I go?

  • Media facilities in the basement.
  • Catering facilities in the basement (Café Recess and The Blue Flax Restaurant).
  • Catering facilities on the Ground Floor (The Speaker’s Corner Coffee Shop).
  • Catering Facilities on the First Floor (The Members’ Dining Room, Lunch 12pm -2.00pm and Afternoon Tea 2.00pm – 3.30pm). 
  • Basement floor corridors.
  • The Great Hall.
  • Ground floor corridors (note exemptions in next section on Assembly sitting days i.e. Monday and Tuesday and on the days when the RHI Inquiry is in session).
  • The Assembly Library.
  • Committee rooms on the ground and first floors during public meetings.
  • Assembly Chamber Press Gallery (while Plenary is in session).
  • The Senate Chamber (When the RHI Inquiry is in public session).
  • The Long Gallery (to attend events to which the media have been invited).
  • Any other location on the first floor. Exceptions are detailed under “Accessing Offices”.

 

Where can I not go?

  • The floor of the Assembly Chamber.
  • The floor of the Senate Chamber.
  • The Senate Rotunda (except for access to the Senate Chamber during public hearings of the RHI Inquiry).
  • Business Office.
  • Bill Office.
  • Voting Lobbies.
  • All West corridors (to the left of Great Hall) on Assembly sitting days and on the days when the RHI Inquiry is in session). This includes the Assembly Chamber rotunda on sitting days.
  • All Committee rooms during closed session.
  • The Members’ Bar and the Coffee Lounge (unless accompanied by an MLA, party staff, authorised Assembly/RHI Inquiry staff).
  • Second, third or fourth floor (unless accompanied by an MLA, Party, Assembly Secretariat or authorised RHI Inquiry staff).

 

Where can I record without permission from the Communications Office?

Great Hall

  • Anywhere in the Great Hall (subject to Health and Safety guidance). However, you cannot film with any of the corridors leading off in the background shot.
  • The stairs of the Great Hall.
  • The balcony area outside the Members’ Dining Room on the first floor which overlooks the Great Hall. Filming on left and right wings of the balcony is prohibited.  (NB: Interviews with MLAs and pieces to camera only).  

Miscellaneous

  • Media facilities in the basement.
  •  At the front of the building to get external shots of Parliament Buildings. 
  • Long Gallery events where the media are invited to attend.

 

Where can I record with pre-arranged support from the Communications Office?

  • The Assembly Chamber Rotunda on non-sitting days, but not with the Assembly Chamber in the background shot.
  • The Long Gallery when not in use.
  • Committee rooms.
  • Committee meetings, with the consent of the Committee and by prior arrangement with the Communications Office.
  • Other internal/external locations may be available for live broadcasts (contact Communications Office for details).

 

Where can I not record/film?

  • Assembly Chamber.
  • Press Gallery of the Assembly Chamber.
  • The Senate Chamber.
  • The Senate Rotunda.
  • Outside a Committee room when a meeting is in session.
  • In or into corridors leading off the Great Hall.
  • East and West corridors.
  • Any of the catering outlets in Parliament Buildings.
  • Filming inside, into or from any position in the car parks to the East and West of Parliament Buildings is strictly prohibited.

 

MLAs’ Offices

  • You may record/film within MLAs’ offices only with permission of the MLA and when accompanied by the MLA or Party staff.

 

Escort rights

Intermediate pass holders and members of the Assembly Correspondents Group can escort up to five people to the areas they are permitted to go to. Accredited media personnel wanting to escort people beyond these areas should contact the Communications Office. Visitors must be escorted by their sponsor at all times, except in the Great Hall.

In instances where Intermediate pass holders and members of the Assembly Correspondents Group need to invite external visitors to Parliament Buildings after the Building is closed to the general public, pass holders should make The Communications Office aware at:

Assembly Communications Office  
Room B4
Parliament Buildings
02890 521 137

The same escort conditions apply as when the Building is open to the general public. 

NB:  Leaving visitors unattended breaches security guidance and can result in the removal of escort rights.

 

Mobile/Smart phones and Electronic Equipment

The use of mobile/smart phones and electronic equipment is permitted within Committee Rooms as long as the equipment is utilising the Assembly's wifi network and switches off the 3G/4G signal which interferes with the broadcasting equipment. It is not permissible to record the proceedings or to take photographic stills or footage in the room.

NB: Within the Senate Chamber during public sessions of the RHI Inquiry the use of mobile/smart phones and electronic equipment is permitted provided devices are switched to silent and utilise the Assembly’s wifi network. Section 18 (2) of the Inquiries Act 2005 expressly prohibits the making of any recording or broadcast of the proceedings of the Inquiry without the express request or permission of the Chairman. For the avoidance of doubt, no photography, audio or video recording of the proceedings may occur in the Senate Chamber without the express permission of the Inquiry Chairman. The Inquiry Chairman may vary these arrangements or withdraw permissions in respect of the use of electronic equipment at any time. 

It is recommended that media personnel use and connect to the Assembly media wifi network as it has more functionality for media use, as opposed to the Assembly's 'open' network. To access the 'media' wifi (NIA_MEDIA), each individual device will need to be paired with the network which can be done by filling in an access form, available from the Assembly Communications Office. 

 

Library and Lending

Members of the Assembly Correspondents Group can make use of the Library on the Ground Floor.

 

Shared workplace

Parliament Buildings is a shared workplace. Media equipment must not impede anyone’s access into or around the building. Common work areas like kitchens and photocopying rooms are for MLAs, party staff, Assembly Secretariat staff and authorised RHI Inquiry staff only. Members of the media are allowed access to certain corridors (dependent on the type of pass held) but they must not film, photograph or record there without prior arrangement with the Communications Office, unless otherwise stated within this Handbook.

 

3. Interviews

MLAs

Interviews with Committee Chairpersons/Deputy Chairpersons, in respect of their Committee responsibilities, should be arranged through the Communications Office.

Interviews with individual MLAs should be arranged and agreed with their Parties. Please note that media will need to be accompanied by the MLA or Party staff when accessing rooms/offices on the second, third and fourth floors.

Other

Other than MLAs, interviews are allowed in the Great Hall with Committee meeting witnesses, members from other legislatures and anyone else who agrees to be interviewed in the Great Hall.

NB: Elected representatives must not be interviewed in Parliament Buildings for the purpose of canvassing during an election period.

RHI Inquiry

The RHI Chairperson and RHI staff will not provide media interviews/comment for the duration of the RHI Inquiry. 

The door stepping of witnesses to the RHI inquiry is strictly prohibited. Witnesses are not permitted to conduct media interviews while under oath. Some witnesses may find the process of providing oral evidence difficult and challenging and while the RHI Inquiry Team will do everything possible to minimise the stress, it is very important that members of the media act with due sensitivity and care.    

Enquiries regarding Interviews pertaining to the RHI Inquiry should be directed to Deric Henderson on 07802 175350 or by email at deric@derichendersonmedia.com

 

3. Media Facilities & Services

Facilities

The facilities listed below are described collectively as the Media Facilities.

They are located in the basement of Parliament Buildings. They include:

Press Room  B38
TV studio 1 BBC (to cover all BBC outlets)
TV studio 2 (B2) UTV (to cover ITV/ITN)
TV studio 3 RTE
Radio studio 1 BBC
Radio studio 2 Downtown/Cool FM
Three dedicated offices for BBC, UTV and Press Association

 

Services

The Communications Office holds a briefing for the media every Monday at 11.30am in the Press Room (B38) when the Assembly is in session. The Office also provides a range of information to the media including: Order Papers, Indicative timings and the Marshalled List of Amendments. 

There is Wi-Fi access in the building. For access, contact the Communications Office for the ID and password.

 

Broadcasting Services

The Assembly Broadcasting team provides the sound and vision feeds from the Assembly Chamber. The rules to which Assembly Broadcasting must adhere in respect of the television coverage of the proceedings are available from the Communications Office upon request.

Live vision and sound feeds, in various formats, of the proceedings in the Chamber are fed to various points in the Media Facilities/Press Room. Those seeking to use these should contact the Communications Office. Assembly proceedings are distributed throughout Parliament Buildings on the internal TV system.

Broadcast recordings of the proceedings can be made available by request. Video and audio files suitable for Non Linear Editing systems (NLE) can also be provided during a sitting.

Footage can be ordered from the Communications Office on 028 9052 1884 or by email: sound&vision@niassembly.gov.uk

Assembly Broadcasting provides audio and video coverage of all Assembly public meetings. All rooms output audio coverage, however only the Assembly Chamber, Senate Chamber, Committee room 29 and Committee room 30 output video.

 

RHI Broadcasting and Transcripts

An audio-video feed will be provided by Pi Communications to broadcast media outlets, who will be expected to co-ordinate their own resources if they wish to capture any of the feeds.  

Play-outs cannot be facilitated, but support will be provided to assist organisations that wish to make arrangements to sit across material with their own recording systems. 

Video feeds are being distributed to Press rooms and studios inside Parliament Buildings in order to allow broadcasters to record the feed using their own equipment.

Video on demand (online) files will not be available on line.

Transcripts of each day’s proceedings and the documentary evidence presented during the hearings will be made available on the Inquiry’s website as soon as practical. 

There are 3 HD/SDI/PAL circuits to broadcasters’ studios and 2 circuits HD/SDI/PAL journalist wall boxes. If all four televised rooms have simultaneous meetings, the Assembly will decide which room will not get video coverage.  However, in these instances audio will always be available from studio wall boxes. The televised circuits usually follow the below format:

Room 

Circuit 

Plenary

1

Senate

2

Room 30

3

Room 29

1 or 2, depending on day of week and other scheduled business. Normally CCT 1.

Test cards of each circuit will be indented to help broadcasters allocate recordings at their end.

 

TV Channels useful to broadcasters

Feed 

Internal TV Channel 

Format

CCT1 – Usually Plenary coverage

01

Video

CCT2 – Usually Senate coverage

03

Video

Room 30

04

Video

Room 21

06

Audio only

Room 29

05

Video

 

 

 

 

Lawn box feeds

The lawn box at the front of Parliament buildings has 2 assignable SDI only feeds that can be routed from Assembly broadcasting.  If PAL is required, please contact Assembly Broadcasting. The SDI has embedded audio. For radio purposes analogue audio can be made available. 

 

Great Hall distribution

A pool microphone is in place for broadcasters in the Great Hall on Assembly sitting days and on the days when the RHI Inquiry is in session. An XLR feed from this microphone can be obtained from the distribution amplifier beneath the bench closest to the microphone.

 

Contact numbers

Contact 

Staff 

Phone number 

Assembly Broadcasting front office

Phil Agnew

028 905 21490

Assembly Broadcasting

Engineering

Allan Boston

028 905 21493

Assembly footage requests

Tracey Wilson/Garth Scates

028 905 21884/02890 521408

 

5. Other Facilities

Parking

Members of the media can park in the Visitors’ Car Park and overflow car park, or in the designated areas on Prince of Wales Avenue or Massey Avenue. In some circumstances and by prior arrangement only with the Communications Office, members of the media may be permitted to drop equipment off via the Upper carparks at Parliament Buildings, and subsequently park in the Visitors Car Park.  

Media requests for parking/dropping off/picking up equipment must be made at least one hour in advance to ensure that Security can process and/or accommodate the request.

 

Induction Loops

Most of the public areas in Parliament Buildings, including the Assembly Chamber, the Senate Chamber, the Great Hall and the Committee Rooms, are fitted with induction loops. Users can avail of this facility by switching their hearing aid to ‘T’.

 

Assisted Access

Wheelchair access is available at the Front entrance and at both the East and West Doors.

 

Toilet facilities

Toilet facilities, including those with disabled access, are on the Ground Floor (near the front door), in the basement (next to the Blue Flax restaurant) and in Café Recess (basement).

 

Changing Places toilet

Parliament Buildings has a Changing Places toilet on the ground floor. Facilities in this toilet include a height-adjustable adult-sized changing bench and a tracking hoist system. Please ask at reception if you require access to this facility.

 

Catering

Refreshments are available in the Blue Flax restaurant which is located in the basement and open to members of the media, MLAs, party staff, Assembly Secretariat staff, Departmental staff and RHI Inquiry staff from 8am – 7pm on Monday to Friday when the Assembly is in session. If Assembly business continues after 7pm (Plenary sessions or Committee meetings), service will be available for an additional 30 minutes after completion of business. The Blue Flax Restaurant closes at 4pm when the Assembly is not in session.   

The Members’ Dining Room is open to members of the media, the general public, MLAs, party staff, Assembly Secretariat, Departmental staff and RHI Inquiry staff, Monday to Friday. Lunch is available from 12pm – 2.00pm and Afternoon Tea from 2.00pm – 3.30pm. Please note that reservations must be made in advance by telephoning 028 90 521041.

The Speaker’s Corner Coffee Shop also serves light refreshments and is open to members of the media, the general public, MLAs, party staff, Assembly Secretariat staff, Departmental staff and RHI Inquiry staff from 9am -4pm, Monday – Friday.

NB:  Members of the media are asked to respect the fact that catering facilities within Parliament Buildings are social areas. Therefore, comments made by an MLA, party staff, Assembly Secretariat, Departmental staff and RHI Inquiry staff are ‘off the record’ unless specifically indicated otherwise, and in advance. Members of the media who wish to discuss business matters with MLAs are encouraged to clarify whether they would prefer to meet elsewhere by arrangement.

 

Smoking

Parliament Buildings is a no smoking area. There is a designated smoking area to the rear of the West carpark accessible via the West door.

 

6. Access Times for Parliament Buildings

Door Opening and Closing Times

On Assembly sitting days: Main Front Door - from 7.30am to 10.30pm (or for one hour after the end of plenary should business proceed beyond 10.30pm) and at other times by special arrangement.

East Door (nearest the visitor car park) – from 7.30am to 10.30pm (or for one hour after the end of plenary should business proceed beyond 10.30pm.

West Door – from 7.30am to 10.30pm (or for one hour after the end of plenary should business proceed beyond 10.30pm).

 

On Assembly non-sitting days (normally Wednesday, Thursday and Friday):  Main Front Door - from 7. 30am to 7pm and at other times by special arrangement (opening times may vary during recess).

East Door (nearest the car park) – from 7.30am to 7pm (opening times may vary during recess).

West Door – from 7.30am to 7pm (opening times may vary during recess).

 

During recess: Media pass holders should contact the Communications Office if they intend to be in the Building during periods of recess when the Building is closed to the general public after 7.00pm.

 

When the Assembly is recalled during periods of recess: Media pass holders should contact the Communications Office if they intend to be in the Building when it is closed to the general public after 7.00pm.  

 

7. Freedom of Information Requests

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 came into force on 1 January 2005. Its purpose is to ensure a better understanding of how public authorities carry out their duties, why they make the decisions that they do and how they spend public money. Under the Act, any person or organisation may request information from a public body in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

 

How do I make a request to the Assembly Freedom of Information Unit?

The Act requires all requests to be in writing, to state clearly what information is required and to include the name and correspondence address of the applicant. You may e-mail your request or write to the Freedom of Information Unit (details below).

 

Requests from the Media

We aim to respond quickly to all requests from the Media and, where possible, we will strive to deal with routine FoI queries from the Media as general media enquiries.  We therefore hope to process such enquiries promptly. Complex requests will continue to be treated under the FoI legislation.

NB: Please note that the RHI Inquiry is exempt from FOI legislation until the Inquiry is complete and the final Inquiry Report has been published. 

 

 

Contact Information:

Freedom of Information Unit
Northern Ireland Assembly
Parliament Buildings
Ballymiscaw,
Belfast
Northern Ireland
BT4 3XX

TN: +44 (0)28 9052 1147
FAX: +44 (0)28 9041 8340 
E-mail: foi@niassembly.gov.uk

 

8. General Media Enquiries

The Communications Office manages the Assembly's interaction with print, broadcast and online media. Communication Officers provide journalists with information about the Assembly and facilitate media access to Parliament Buildings and to the Chairs and Deputy Chairs of Committees.

If you require a response (a line) from the Assembly on issues relating to the work of the Assembly, including the Assembly Commission, the Speaker’s Office, Committees, Plenary etc. you will need to contact the Communications Office

To facilitate your query, the Communications Office will require your media/information request, to be submitted in writing (i.e. by email), along with the following information:

  • The preferred timescale for answering the media/information request.
  • A clear and detailed account of the information you require. Please note that it would also be helpful to include any and/or all supplementary questions at this time.
  • Your contact details; this would be useful if the Communications Officer requires any further detail and/or information in relation to your query. 

As some queries may be complex, making your request in writing ensures that the Communications Officer has the necessary information to respond appropriately.

NB: The Communications Office strives to respond to all queries within the timescales requested. However, media queries raised after 1pm or those that require a more complex response will not be made available until the next working day.  

 

Media Interviews:

If you are requesting an interview with a representative of the corporate Assembly, the Speaker or a Committee Chairperson, you will need to contact the Communications Office.

  • To help facilitate the request, the following information would be useful:
  • The purpose/context for the interview.
  • The timescale for responding.
  • The proposed time of the interview.
  • Whether the request is for TV/radio/print/down the line/pre-recorded interview.
  • Whether anyone else will be on at the same time as the Assembly interviewee.
  • The proposed location (please note that during term time, interviews in Parliament Buildings will be easier to facilitate—particularly for filmed interviews).

NB: If you are contacting an MLA to speak in their individual, Party or political capacity, you will need to contact the appropriate party press officers rather than the Assembly Communications Office. Relevant contact details for Party Press Officers can be accessed here.

 

RHI Interviews

The RHI Chairperson and/or RHI staff will not provide media interviews/comment for the duration of the RHI Inquiry.

 

9. Contact Telephone Numbers

Northern Ireland Assembly

Maeve Donnelly
Head of Communications

For media enquiries relating to:

• The Speaker 
• Assembly Commission
• Clerk/Chief Executive 

Maeve.Donnelly@niassembly.gov.uk

Office:   028 9052 1161
Mobile : 07921217303

Debra Savage
Communications Officer

For media enquiries relating to:

• Finance Committee
• Health Committee
• Infrastructure Committee
• Justice Committee
• Public Accounts Committee 
• Audit Committee
• Procedures Committee
• Standards and Privileges Committee

Debra.Savage@niassembly.gov.uk

Office: 028 9052 1405
Mobile : 07920 864221

Sinead Murphy 
Deputy Communications Officer

For media enquiries relating to:

• Assembly & Executive Review Committee
• Agriculture, Environment and Rural Development Committee
• Education Committee
• Communities Committee 

Sinead.Murphy@niassembly.gov.uk

Office: 028 9052 5938
Mobile: 07899 864368

Caroline Moore
Deputy Communications Officer

For media enquiries relating to:

• Executive Committee
• Economy Committee
• Assembly Community Connect
• Education Service 

Caroline.Moore@niassembly.gov.uk

Office: 028 9052 1606
Mobile: 07900 278992

 

If your enquiry is in relation to an Executive Department or Ministerial activity, please contact the Executive Information Service (EIS) via the relevant Departmental press office.

 

Political Party press contact details:

Alliance     

028 9052 1977

Democratic Unionist Party 

028 9052 1873

Green Party  

028 9052 1467

Independent (Ms Claire Sugden)   

028 9052 1310

People Before Profit Alliance

028 9041 8355

Sinn Fein     

028 9052 1473

Social Democratic and Labour Party

028 9052 1319

Traditional Unionist Party (TUV)    

028 9052 1175

Ulster Unionist Party 

028 9052 1935

 

10. Additional RHI Inquiry Information

Photograph Requests

Individual photographs of the RHI Inquiry Team as well as generic photographs of the Senate Chamber have been supplied by Pacemaker Press. To request images please contact David McCormick at Pacemaker david@pacemakerpressni.com  

Restriction Orders

Media are reminded that they are subject to the Restriction Orders announced by the Inquiry Chairman, which are pursuant to the powers given to him by section 19 of the Inquiries Act 2005.

They are available on the RHI Inquiry website www.rhiinquiry.org and may be added to from time to time. Any breach of a Restriction Order will be viewed very seriously by the Chairman, who may certify the matter to the High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland.  This may lead to an offender being held in Contempt of Court.

Personal information considered to be irrelevant will be redacted in documents published by the Inquiry.

People who receive documentation from the Inquiry are not permitted to publish the documentation on the internet and social media, and anyone who has provided a witness statement is prohibited from publishing that statement beyond its provision to the Inquiry.

 

Transcripts and Documents

Transcripts of the oral hearings will be uploaded to the Inquiry’s website.  

As well as the uploaded transcripts, members of the public will also be able to access copies of documentation considered by the Inquiry during oral hearings. 

 

FAQ’s

A Frequently Asked Questions document for the RHI Inquiry is available at www.rhiinquiry.org

 

11. Essential Health and Safety Information

In the event of an evacuation please exit the building via the nearest exit unless directed otherwise. Assemble at the bottom of the front steps until it is safe to return to the building.

If you require first aid assistance, or want to report an accident, please contact the Health and Safety Office (B10) on 028 9052 5932 or the front reception on 028 9052 1990.

 

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