Bids to debate Adams arrest rejected

Published Tuesday, 06 May 2014
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Two bids to discuss Gerry Adams' arrest have been rejected in the Assembly.

Bids to debate Adams arrest rejected
The bids to discuss issues surrounding the arrest were not accepted. (© Getty)

The proposals were put forward by David McNarry MLA of UKIP and TUV leader Jim Allister during a plenary session on Tuesday, to be addressed as a 'matter of the day'.

However they were not accepted by Speaker William Hay, who said the issues raised by the MLAs did not fall within the remit of topics that matters of the day exchanges were designed for.

Sinn Féin president Mr Adams was arrested last week and questioned by police investigating the 1972 murder of Jean McConville. He was released on Sunday pending report to the PPS.

The topics the unionist MLAs had wanted to raise at Stormont concerned comments by deputy First Minister Martin McGuiness, who blamed the "dark side" of policing in Northern Ireland for his party leader's arrest, and suggested Sinn Féin may review its support of the PSNI if charges followed.

Mr Hay said he was rejecting the debate bids on procedural grounds.

"I fully understand there are issues which members may wish to discuss in this chamber, however members are also aware that matters of the day are a very restricted procedure which only allows a series of short remarks rather than a fuller debate," he said.

"Members of all sides of this house should not be using matters of the day for political reasons or to attack another political party or also, which is even equally important, use matters of the day to comment on an issue that a minister has raised in this house or outside the house as well.

"That's not how matters of day were ever framed by the committee on procedures."

Mr McNarry , who objected to the fact that some of Mr McGuinness's remarks were made in the Great Hall of Parliament Buildings, said he was "extremely disappointed" the topic was not debated.

He added: "It certainly was a matter of the day and it will be a matter of tomorrow and the next day. Unionists are angry - they found Martin McGuinness's remarks demeaning to the PSNI."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
lucylou in belfast wrote (270 days ago):
western Australia in w Australia===soooo far away=== soooo bitter about a place you choose not to live in. Or maybe you're another DOROTHY in KANSAS who is no more in Kansas than my left foot is at this moment!
Western Australia in Western Australia wrote (271 days ago):
"Demeaning to the PSNI" i believe that was how they where intended! Unionism is angry as they see this as an attack on their police force. "A protestant police force for a protestant people" nationalists and republicans are also angry as these elements within the PSNI serve to erode nationalist confidence in a fair and accountable police force for everyone i. The north.
Michael in Templepatrick wrote (271 days ago):
Sure they can discuss it outside the Assembly till their wee hearts are content. Gerry Adams rules their lives anyway. Away down the pub lads and have a good oul natter about Gerry lol
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