Stop or Leave the Chamber – Stormont’s Attitude to Attempt to Raise the Disappeared

Admin —  November 5, 2013

Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:

“This morning I attempted to table a Matter of the Day on the Disappeared following last night’s harrowing BBC documentary. I had not received notice of whether or not it had been accepted before entering the Assembly chamber.

“Assembly Standing Orders state:

In deciding whether to grant leave to a member who has made a formal request under paragraph (1) the Speaker shall take account of the following criteria –

(a) whether the proposed statement relates to a matter which has occurred and has come to public attention since the Assembly last stood adjourned;

(b) whether the proposed statement relates to a matter which is of exceptional public interest;

(c) whether the proposed statement relates to a matter which directly affects the people of Northern Ireland;

(d) that the specific subject matter of the proposed statement is not, and has not previously been, the subject of or directly related to a statement, application, notice or referral made or given under this or any other Standing Order.

“It seems obvious to me that last night’s documentary fulfilled the criteria. Why the Speaker came to a different view is not for me to explain.

“It seems that once again anything that could possibly embarrass Sinn Fein and upset the cosy cabal cannot be raised on the Hill. It can be debated on the Nolan Show but not in Stormont!

“As the Speaker put it I could either stop trying to raise the issue or leave the chamber.

“Let’s not forget that Mitchell McLaughlin – the man who the DUP voted to be Principle Deputy Speaker – refused to say that the murder of Jean McConville was a crime. It is an indictment of the political establishment in Northern Ireland that an issue of this magnitude can be swept under the carpet in such a fashion.

“Anyone with an ounce of humanity who watched last night’s programme could not have been but moved by the sheer wickedness of the IRA’s tearing of a widow from her 10 children before murdering her in cold blood and secretly burying her body. Yet, the party led by one whose former colleagues says he bears responsibility for this cruel and evil deed, rules over us, courtesy of those unionists who day and daily sustain them in office.

“If those of his own ilk say Adams is lying, why should anyone believe him. Even his body language spoke to the truth of the allegations.

“As for McGuinness, his empty rhetoric will remain such till he acts to help the Hegarty family in Londonderry, the McVeigh family and many many others that his IRA made victims.”

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