That future meetings of the Assembly be held in the city of Armagh

Colourful bookshelves in NI Assembly LibraryOne of the unexpected treats on tonight’s tour of Parliament Buildings was the stop-off in the Assembly Library.

The “tweet-up” had been arranged by the Assembly’s Engagement team to encourage photographers, facebookers, tweeters, bloggers et al to come and explore the delights of Stormont – a legislative first in the UK or Ireland.

1973 papers from NI Parliament in NI Assembly LibraryThe library has an enormous set of political biographies and Irish political history section.

In an annex to the main library, a small room with colourful bookshelves holds copies of papers from previous NI parliaments. Turns out that in 1973, there was a cheeky attempt to move meetings of the Assembly from Stormont to Armagh!


Moved, That future meetings of the Assembly be held in Parliament Buildings, Stormont. (Mr. Stronge).

Amendment proposed, To leave out “Parliament Buildings, Stormont” and insert “the city of Armagh”. (Mr. Cooper).

Close-up from 1973 NI Parliament papers showing attempt to move proceedings to Armagh

If I’m reading the Ark website correctly, then the proposer was Ivan Cooper (SDLP, Mid-Ulster) supported by Austin Currie (SDLP, Fermanagh & South Tyrone) while the local Armagh member James Stronge (UUP) voted against the move to his home city! Dr Paisley wasn’t convinced either.

1973 attempt to move NI parliament to Armagh

One wonders what other gems of parliamentary shenanigans are contained in the colourful green and red tomes in the Assembly Library?

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  • Mark McGregor

    Thank God you found a way past the tokenism of:

    Guests will have the chance to talk directly with MLAs; Public Relations/Lobby Groups; Sector/Industry Representatives; Assembly Staff; and members of the Media.

    7.00-7.25 pm: Ask the Experts session

    7.25-8.05 pm: Speed-dating networking session

    Because that 1hr timetable is serious tokenism from ‘the first legislature in the UK and Ireland to host a social networking event’

  • Mark – it looked much worse on paper than it ended up being in reality. Basically, after the tour, people sat and chatted. And when the formal programme was over, people stood and talked for another hour or more.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Terrible to think that Norman Stronge and Ian Paisley voted against returning Armagh to its rightful place at the centre of things.

    Early evidence here of Paisley’s duplicity, selling out the city of his birth. Surely he would have loved it if, thirty-five years later, he had been able to serve as First Minister in the primatial city, the city of St Patrick, the city in which he first drew breath, rather than in that monstrous monument to political vanity in the east Belfast suburbs.

    Stronge, at least, was only a blow-in, and lived in a townland called Tyranny, so one can hardly be surprised at his insubstantiality…