Assembly backs Queen's Jubilee school memento

The Stormont Assembly has backed a motion calling for the Department of Education to provide funds for souvenirs for primary schoolchildren to mark the Queen's Golden Jubilee.

A motion tabled by the DUP calling for a special memento to celebrate the occasion was passed in the House by 26 votes to 11 on Tuesday February 12.

However the Minister for Education Martin McGuinness said his department could not see any justification for the expenditure and added the money could be better used in the classroom.

The Jubilee issue, which was tipped to be hotly debated in the chamber, was sharply criticised from the unexpected corner of the Ulster Unionist Party. The Culture Minister Michael McGimpsey said his party would not participate in the vote, which he regarded as "unseemly" in the wake of the death of Princess Margaret.

In response, the proposer of the motion, Maurice Morrow (DUP, Fermanagh and South Tyrone) said the motion had been tabled before the princess' death.

Education Minister Martin McGuinness said it was important that events such as the Jubilee celebrations did not prove divisive. He said that if schools wanted to receive funding for their own special events, then they could apply to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

The SDLP abstained on the issue, claiming the motion was more about party political advantage than Royal souvenirs.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

13 January 2020
Minister Swann To Meet Health Unions
Stormont's new health minister Robin Swann is to meet trade unions over the ongoing strike action. Ulster Unionist minister Robin Swann has pledged to solve the pay dispute "right away". Nurses and healthcare workers have been engaged in industrial action over staffing shortages and a lack of pay parity in recent weeks.
06 January 2020
SDLP Calls For Mental Health Minister
The SDLP has called for any future Stormont Executive to prioritise mental health and wellbeing with a dedicated Junior Minister. As talks to restore devolved government continue, the party's deputy leader Nichola Mallon said all parties are agreed on the need to unite to tackle the mental health crisis.
13 March 2020
'Finance Minister Must Assist Businesses Through Coronavirus'
The Finance Minister has come under pressure to introduce measures to assist businesses suffering a downturn in trade as a result of coronavirus. Alliance MLA Andrew Muir said a number of firms are currently experiencing difficult times as customer habits change in response to the worldwide viral outbreak.
04 March 2020
First And Deputy First Minister Cancel NY St Patrick's Day Visit
The First and Deputy First Ministers have reportedly cancelled plans to visit New York while in the US on an official St Patrick's Day trip. According to reports, Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill are still expected to make the trip to Washington DC, but will no longer begin their trip by visiting New York.
28 February 2020
Justice Minister Encourages Reports Of Online Hate Crime
Justice Minister Naomi Long is urging victims of online hate crimes to file a report to police to allow them to get the support they need. Ms Long encouraged members of the public to "call it out" and help police catch online perpetrators at an Online Hate Crime Event at Belfast City Hall.