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?