Tag Archives | NI Assembly

Martin McGuinness: “We now wait to see if SDLP will stand by the principles of the Good Friday Agreement or follow the UUP into opposition…”

The response of Sinn Féin’s new MLA for Foyle, Martin McGuinness, to being upstaged – at the moment of his re-appointment as Northern Ireland deputy First Minister – by the UUP leader Mike Nesbitt’s announcement that his party had unanimously agreed to go into official opposition in the NI Assembly, betrayed a confused, or forgetful, party more…

We need leadership and action on health – whoever’s in charge

Michael Moore from MacMillan Cancer Support writes for us about the importance of healthcare in the next Assembly A new Assembly mandate brings uncertainty around some key issues in Northern Ireland. But one thing is clear – the quality of care for people living with cancer and other long term conditions must not be determined more…

Former Sinn Féin Cllr Sorcha McAnespy: “There’s too much nepotism and misogyny present in the party locally. It’s jobs for the boys. It is not open and transparent.”

Omagh Councillor Sorcha McAnespy launched a broadside against Sinn Féin in West Tyrone after her sudden resignation from the party on Thursday, and announced her intention to stand as an independent candidate in the forthcoming Northern Ireland Assembly election. The Ulster Herald appears to have broken the story on Thursday. The former vice-chair of Omagh District more…

What can the next NI Assembly do for people living with cancer?

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Michael Moore is Policy Officer at Macmillan Cancer Support In a matter of weeks, the Assembly election outcome will be known and elected MLAs will be contemplating their priorities for the next five years. The numbers, needs and experiences of people affected by cancer in Northern Ireland make a powerful case for cancer care remaining more…

NI Assembly Commission misleads the Assembly, and the public

When the BBC reported the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission’s written answers to some ‘stupid’ questions from TUV leader Jim Allister on Friday they used the headline “Sinn Féin MLAs who claimed almost £700,000 in expenses ‘did nothing wrong‘”.  There was also a report broadcast, “Sinn Féin cleared in expenses investigation“. The NI Assembly Commission is more…

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 …

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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…