Assembly hosts inaugural Burns Night at Parliament Buildings

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 21 January 2016

Reference: SO 13/15/16

The Speaker of the Assembly, Mitchel McLaughlin MLA, today hosted the first official Burns Night celebration in Parliament Buildings. The celebration of Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns, took place in the Great Hall at 6.30pm.

Guests, including Assembly Commission members; the Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure, Carál Ní Chuilín MLA; Members of the Culture, Arts and Leisure Committee; and Ulster Scots Agency representatives, enjoyed readings of Burns' renowned poetry, as well as entertainment in the form of traditional Scottish music and dance.

The Speaker of the Assembly, Mitchel McLaughlin MLA, pictured with Piper Darren Milligan and chef, Ashley McMahon presenting the haggis, at the first official Burns Night celebration in Parliament Buildings. The celebration of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns, took place in the Great Hall. Picture: Michael Cooper

The Speaker of the Assembly, Mitchel McLaughlin MLA, pictured with Piper Darren Milligan and chef, Ashley McMahon presenting the haggis, at the first official Burns Night celebration in Parliament Buildings. The celebration of Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns, took place in the Great Hall. Picture: Michael Cooper

Speaking about the event, the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Mitchel McLaughlin, MLA said: "I have made a point as Speaker of hosting events throughout the year to reflect the fact that the Assembly should represent all parts of our diverse community. I am therefore delighted to be the first Speaker to host a Burns Supper in Parliament Buildings as an official Assembly event."

"We had a fantastic line up of musicians and dancers who joined representatives of community groups interested in the Ulster Scots culture to commemorate the life of a legendary Scottish icon. This is the first Burns Supper I have ever attended and so I personally looked forward to experiencing some of the traditional rituals associated with commemorating the Scottish bard."

The famous Burns Supper rituals were celebrated throughout the evening, including the Selkirk Grace; piping in the haggis; address to the haggis; toast to the haggis; the Immortal Memory; Toast to the Lassies; and Reply to the Toast of the Lassies. Proceedings came to a close following a rendition of Auld Lang Syne.

ENDS

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