Parliament Buildings Marks the Centenary of the State Opening of the Northern Ireland Parliament

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 21 June 2021

Reference: SO 39/20/21

Parliament Buildings will be lit blue tonight to mark the centenary of the state opening of the old Northern Ireland Parliament as agreed by all of the parties on the Assembly Commission. This follows on from other Commission centenary events including a lecture series hosted by the Speaker, Alex Maskey MLA, which ended at the beginning of June with a lecture which marked the centenary of the first sitting of the old Stormont Parliament on 7 June 1921 and reflected on the life of that institution.

Speaker Alex Maskey said, “In a year of significant centenaries, it is welcome that the Assembly Commission has agreed by consensus to light Parliament Buildings blue this evening to mark the state opening of the old Stormont Parliament at Belfast City Hall. This follows a number of recent Assembly Commission centenary events including a lecture series I hosted which ended with a session in early June to focus on the first sitting of that institution and reflect on its tenure.

“When I launched that series I was joined by the Speaker of the House of Commons and the Ceann Comahirle of Dáil Éireann. I said then that in the past century there had been a range of tumult and change within that centenary which had impacted upon politics and relationships within these islands and given us all much to reflect upon. There are many different views within the Assembly on all of these centenary events but in particular, I think we can all reflect today that the journey is still not complete on the theme of reconciliation which King George V focused on during his visit for the state opening. 

“The centenaries this month also mark one hundred years of local parliamentary institutions. As the Speaker of the current Assembly which has been built on the principles of including the diversity of political opinion in society, respecting those different voices and recognising the need to work together, I think there is broad political agreement that that is the basis on which we all can move forward together.”



Notes to Editors:

The lectures that have been part of the ‘Perspectives On…’ series, delivered by renowned historian Dr Eamon Phoenix were:

  • The events leading to, and following, the creation of Northern Ireland/partition.
  • The unionist perspective and unionist and loyalist leaders in 1921.
  • The nationalist perspective and nationalist and republican leaders in 1921.
  • The old Northern Ireland parliament.


For media enquiries please contact:

Communications Office

The Northern Ireland Assembly


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