Speaker ignores standing orders and sparks an Assembly walk out…

This morning the dFM withheld his consent for the First Minister to make a statement on behalf of the joint office of the Executive (the artist formerly known as OFMdFM). As Mike Nesbitt raised in a point of order just after the start, this changed the terms on which the Assembly had been summoned. Extraordinarily, the Speaker at first refused to accept Nesbitt’s point of order and then was forced to take a 20-minute adjournment. Restart brought a flurry of points of order …

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A Constitutionally guaranteed ‘freedom of speech’, or is the Dáil just going a bit rogue?

By far (for me anyway) the most interesting story of the week took place yesterday in the south. And it’s a real poser. Not least because it involves a clash between the common perception of parliamentary privilege in the UK and what it means under the Irish Constitution. The disclosure made in the Dail yesterday by Deputy Catherine Murphy was both partial and (unlike a similar disclosure by Sinn Fein’s Mary Lou McDonald’s earlier in the year) a deliberate run …

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Assembly’s ‘consent’ for National Crime Agency Order is a challenge to the Speaker

In a Parliamentary written answer last week (16 March), the Secretary of State gave an update on the progress of the Draft Order in Council which will extend the operation of the National Crime Agency to Northern Ireland.  Here’s what Teresa Villiers said. The Northern Ireland Assembly recently agreed to the making of an Order which will enable the National Crime Agency (NCA) to be fully operational in Northern Ireland. That Order has been considered by Committees in both the …

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