Sporting success highlighted at Parliament Buildings

Session: 2014/2015

Date: 01 July 2015

Reference: SO 11/14/15

The Northern Ireland Assembly Commission, in association with the Ulster Sports Museum Association, today launched an exhibition in Parliament Buildings, highlighting many of our fantastic local sporting achievements.

The exhibition, ‘Celebrating the Past - Inspiring the Future’, allows viewers to experience our rich and diverse sporting heritage, including football, Gaelic football, rugby, golf and a wide range of other sports.

Mitchell McLaughlin MLA, Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly said: “I strongly believe that Parliament Buildings should show respect towards those the Assembly represents by reflecting and promoting our wider society.  Our sportsmen and women have shown themselves to be fantastic ambassadors over the years and have provided countless examples of bringing our society together to cheer on their efforts.  It is therefore entirely fitting that we should able to provide a platform to celebrate local sporting talent and achievement.  I am particularly delighted that this exhibition will animate the Great Hall over the summer months when we have many more visitors taking advantage of our regular public tours, all of whom will have the added opportunity to reflect on our proud sporting tradition.”   

One of this country’s greatest ever sporting heroes spoke at the exhibition launch as President of the Ulster Sports Museum Association. Olympic champion, Dame Mary Peters has a lifetime of sporting experience and is well aware of the significant contribution our small community has made at world, European and national levels. Mary’s pride in the numerous achievements of her fellow sports men and women was obvious when she said “It’s my dream that we establish a permanent museum to celebrate the many outstanding successes of our people in a broad range of sports”.

Best, Dunlop, McIlroy and McCoy are just some of Ulster’s sporting icons but Mary Peters believes that a sports museum will stimulate greater participation and produce even more world beaters; “Celebrating the past will inspire the future, boosting physical well-being and collective self-esteem” she said, adding “Our sporting achievements unite us and put our country on the world map for all the right reasons”.

The exhibition is on display in the Great Hall of Parliament Buildings until 7 August 2015.

The exhibition coincides with the launch of regular public tours of Parliament Buildings over the summer months which operate each week day, on the hour, between 10.00am-3.00pm.


Pictured at the launch event are (l-r): Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Mitchell McLaughlin MLA; President of the Ulster Sports Museum Association, Dame Mary Peters; and Vice-Chairman of the Ulster Sports Museum Association, Nigel Carr.