The BBC and Belfast Telegraph have a story about a lady called Maya Dunthorpe from East Belfast who has walked her goat in the grounds of Stormont for the past few months. Apparently in the past the security guards have not minded but now Ms. Dunthorpe and her goat (Stan) have been told that they are no longer welcome on the estate. It seems that if Stan attacked someone or caused an accident, there’d be no insurance and only dogs are allowed in the grounds.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Finance and Personnel, which manages the Stormont Estate, said the rules were clear.
“Under the Stormont Regulations and Government Property Act 1933, no animals other than dogs are permitted within the Stormont Estate,” she said.
“These rules and regulations are displayed on all notice boards at the public entrances to the Stormont Estate.”
This raises the interesting question of what would happen if I took my cat there tomorrow or indeed whether the assorted wild animals which roam around Stormont should be allowed.