Media Operational Notice

Condolences and tributes to the former deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 21 March 2017

The Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Robin Newton MLA, has invited Members to gather tomorrow, Wednesday 22 March 2017, in the Assembly Chamber at 12noon to pay tribute to the former deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness.

This opportunity for tributes and condolences is not a sitting of the Assembly. It will not therefore commence with Prayers and there will be no order paper. 

The Speaker will open proceedings by making a short statement and then inviting the leaders of the political parties to pay their tributes.  The Speaker will then invite any Member who wishes to make a contribution to do so.  Party leaders present will be invited to speak for up to five minutes.  The Speaker will then call Members as they rise in their places to speak for up to three minutes in order to give time for as many contributions as possible. 

After approximately 90 minutes, the Speaker will lead the party leaders out of the Assembly Chamber, via the Aye Lobby, through the Assembly Rotunda and into the Great Hall to open and sign a book of condolence. 

  • Proceedings in the Assembly Chamber will be streamed live via
  • Members of the public are welcome to watch the proceedings from the Public Gallery.  This will be on a first come, first served basis.
  • To request footage of the proceedings, please contact
  • A transcript of proceedings will be published on as soon as it is available in the afternoon of Wednesday 22 March. 
  • The ‘listen again’ and ‘watch again’ services will be available via as soon as it is available in the afternoon of Wednesday 22 March. 
  • There will be an area clearly marked for photographers and broadcast cameras in the Great Hall to capture the Speaker and Party Leaders signing the book of condolence.
  • The book of condolence in the Great Hall will be open to members of the public to sign from 2.30pm until 6.00pm on Wednesday 22 March and from 9.00am until 4.00pm on Thursday and Friday.
  • Parliament Buildings will remain open to all building users (including media) until 10.00pm on Wednesday 22 March.
  • The Speaker and party whips will meet at 2.00pm on Wednesday 22 March to discuss arrangements for future Plenary business.