The 6 member cross-party Assembly Commission meets today to discuss, for the fourth time, the Sinn Féin proposal for a commemoration of Maireád Farrell in the Long Gallery. According to the UTV report
It is understood the commission is considering whether to introduce a blanket pre-condition for all events staged in the Long Gallery to receive cross community support in the Assembly first.
Sources close to the commission say members are still debating whether political parties had a right to stage events that did not receive such approval in their own private Parliament Buildings offices.
Adds The BBC’s Martina Purdy reports that the morning meeting has adjourned, without agreement, and they’ll meet again at 4pm.. lawyers are also, reportedly, being consulted.. That commemoration was due to be held tomorrow.. Update BBC report – “It is believed the Assembly Commission, which runs the estate, voted to stop it taking place in the Long Gallery. The function due to be held on Friday is now expected to go ahead in the Sinn Féin party office at Stormont.” And Mark Devenport has more.
The Commission, which normally operates on a consensus, put the matter to a vote and Sinn Fein’s Paul Butler was heavily outnumbered. The function will now go ahead in Sinn Fein’s party office, but the Commission has banned cameras from being taken up the stairs. So just like IRA decommissioning, we will be told it went ahead, but denied any photographic evidence.
Update to Mark’s Update
UPDATE: No sooner did I file the above than a Commission source disputed the notion that this went to a formal vote. The source said new interim rules were approved without a formal vote, although Paul Butler registered his objection.