Tag Archives | NI Assembly

8 times Stormont failed to deliver

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In three months, the Assembly elections will give voters the chance to have their say on who will sit in Stormont for the next five years. At this point, it’s worth reflecting on what has (and hasn’t) been achieved by the current Executive. Use the comments to have your say and add anything (good or more…

High Court awards Elliot £48,750 damages [plus costs] for Flanagan libel

Whilst waiting for the Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle to ratify his re-selection as a candidate in Fermanagh/South Tyrone, at the second time of trying, notorious tweeter Phil Flanagan, MLA, has discovered the cost of his “grossly defamatory” libel against former UUP leader, Tom Elliot, then MLA, now MP for FST.  As the BBC reports The High more…

Phil Flanangan re-selected in re-run convention, Michelle Gildernew not so much…

SF candidates 2016 Fernmanagh/SouthTyrone

David noted the result of the re-run Sinn Féin selection convention for Fermanagh/South Tyrone. But, interestingly, given the allegation of unaccounted-for additional votes for Michelle Gildernew in the first selection convention [see comment zone] which promoted her above Phil Flanagan at the time, that re-run has seen notorious tweeter Phil Flanagan re-selected by the party, along with fellow sitting more…

Second Chance at Re-Selection for Sinn Féin’s Phil Flanagan – Updated

Sinn Féin’s other notorious tweeter, Phil Flanagan, MLA, may be facing a sizeable bill for libelling the UUP’s Tom Elliot, but the party’s central office has given him a second chance at continuing his political career. He was deselected by his party constituency organisation on 13 December last year, but earlier this month the party’s Ard Chomhairle more…

NI Assembly Insurers Refuse to Cover Sinn Féin’s Phil Flanagan for Compensation and Costs Awarded in Tom Elliot Libel Case

It’s worth noting to begin with that that refusal is in accordance with advice given to Jack Peel, Deputy Head of Finance, NI Assembly in March 2011 by Karen McLaverty, Vice President, Marsh Ltd, who provide the Assembly insurance broking and risk management services. Nineteen months after libelling the former UUP leader, Tom Elliot, then an MLA, more…

Irony-free Sinn Féin MLA to repay £900 postage bill

The BBC reports that Sinn Féin MLA Barry McElduff has agreed to repay nearly £900 in postage costs claimed from Northern Ireland Assembly allowances.  The cost relates to a circular letter sent in June to over 1000 households in the Drumragh electoral ward in Omagh, County Tyrone, complaining that “the Tories are robbing the assembly and every government department more…

Casement Park Development: Further allegations at Assembly Committee Hearing

The BBC reports that GAA official, and independent Northern Ireland Policing Board member, Ryan Feeney, has threatened “immediate [legal] action” following further allegations by the chairman of the safety technical group, Sport NI’s Paul Scott, of pressure being exerted to drop concerns about safety at the controversial proposed £70million redevelopment of Casement Park in west Belfast.  more…

Within a constituency, are each MLA’s mileage claims of a similar size? No …

MLA 2014-15 mileage expenses by constituency - square small

Annex B of the Independent Financial Review Panel’s most recent consultation document [the content of which I blogged about earlier] contains a table showing each MLA’s mileage expense claims for 2013/14 and 2014/15, along with the distance of their constituency office from Parliament Buildings. I’ve charted the 2014/15 mileage claims of the MLAs to help more…

Carál Ní Chuilín: “What is clear to me is that there has been an anti-GAA element throughout…”

Having had to apologise for “an error” in claiming that the “Electoral commission vetoed using last election figures” in defence of Sinn Féin’s sectarian leaflet campaign in North Belfast, the Northern Ireland Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Sinn Féin’s Carál Ní Chuilín, might have been better advised to be more cautious in her public utterances more…

“To interfere with the definition of marriage is not a simple or a trivial matter” – Archbishop Martin

Whilst some political parties are being pilloried in Northern Ireland, the chief super-naturalist head of the Catholic Church in Ireland [That’s North and South? – Ed], Archbishop Eamon Martin, has issued a statement [pdf file] of the church’s opposition to a proposed change to the Irish Constitution on same-sex marriage. From the RTÉ report [Primate of All Ireland more…

Casement Park STG Chair: “we were being attempted to be coerced, pressurised into signing off something that we were singularly uncomfortable with…”

The BBC reports on the latest wrinkle in the on-going saga of the controversial £70million redevelopment of Casement Park in west Belfast – stalled in December last year when Belfast High Court quashed the decision to grant planning approval for the redevelopment. At the start of April this year, the BBC obtained the minutes of the last meeting more…

Cochrane: I know so many brilliant women who hold back in their careers for fear of being cut down. It’s time to put those fears behind us and create a more progressive society for us all.

Cochrane MLA

Continuing on with our series, Alliance party MLA, Judith Cochrane writes for us about her experiences in the Assembly Northern Ireland has seen momentous change since the 1970s. Politically, socially and culturally, we have made huge strides over the past few decades, and have become a more progressive and inclusive society. Women have certainly come more…

Jo-Anne Dobson: We need to inspire change rather than force it

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Slugger will be running a series of articles over the next few weeks highlighting the issue of women in politics. First up is the Ulster Unionist MLA Jo-Anne Dobson writing about her experiences in the Assembly. A few months after I was elected to Stormont I found myself standing on the front steps of Parliament more…

Quid pro quo in assembly speaker appointments

Robin

The DUP’s Robin Newton was today appointed as the NI assembly’s principal deputy speaker with support from Sinn Féin. The appointment was confirmed minutes after the East Belfast MLA was confirmed as a deputy speaker joining the experienced John Dallat of the SDLP and Roy Beggs of the UUP. Last week the DUP supported the more…

“…why else would MLA’s fail to protest when their office expenses are taken from them?”

As the Irish Times reports Former Minister of State, Ned O’Keeffe has been fined €3,500 and given a suspended seven month jail sentence after he pleaded guilty to five counts of submitting false invoices to claim over €3,700 in mobile phone expenses. O’Keeffe of Ballylough, Mitchelstown, Co Cork was arrested by gardaí this morning and more…

The Most Popular Drink in Stormont’s Members Bar?

As the son of a Donegal born bar manager who spent most of his working life in Belfast, I like to sit up and listen when Belfast Barman(ager) has something to say. He’s been looking at some facts and figures about what they drink in the members bar in Stormont (yep, they’ve got one)… What more…

And the irreplaceable Willie Hay remains irreplaceable, apparently

The news on Mitchel McLaughlin not getting the seat Peter Robinson once promised him, in two Tweets… One, if Mitchel ain’t getting it, no one is… McLaughlin didn't get the post then as expected? @mickfealty this truly is a farce of a govt http://t.co/Wlf30E34dk — Katie-o (@kateyo) October 13, 2014 Two, some context… Unionists causing more…