“That is a matter that the Speaker’s Office should look at.”

A few points of detail to note about that extraordinary letter from the First and deputy First Ministers. Firstly it’s dated 2 March, some two weeks after the complained about articles in the Belfast Telegraph. What discussions went on in those two weeks, and with whom? Then there’s the address it was sent to – “Independent Newspapers, 7 North Street, Belfast BT1 1NA.” Except Sir Anthony O’Reilly is Chief Executive Officer of Independent News & Media PLC. If they wanted to contact him directly surely it would have been better to use the company’s official address? – which would appear to be, Independent House, 2023 Bianconi Avenue, Citywest Business Campus, Naas Road, Dublin 24. Google Maps only list the Polish Association Of NI, and Ulster Factors Ltd at the address used by OFMDFM – although the “Independent Newspapers” North Street address does appear here.. [Google street view below the fold] Then there’s the “minor exchange on a Point of Order in the Assembly chamber”. At the time, of course, Peter Robinson himself called it “a most serious issue” “that the Speaker’s Office should look into”, and it got mentioned on Stormont Live, and on Slugger.. where I agreed with the First Minister’s original assessment..

Here’s Google’s street view of 7 North Street, Belfast BT1 1NA.


View Larger Map

Update In the comments zone Nevin points to the entry in the DETI Online Companies Registry for INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS PLC [you may need to search again for the detail]

Where the “Foreign Company” has a registered office address listed as “Brendan McCann, 7 Lower North Street, Belfast”.

Date of Incorporation is given as “24/06/1924”

It’s status is listed as “Current”

And the “Change of Name Flag” is “N”, presumably for “No Change”

But it also lists what should have been a telling detail

“Last Accounts Filed 31/12/99”