26/02/2003

Queen opens new court complex during Belfast visit

During a visit to Northern Ireland today the Queen, accompanied by Prince Philip, performed an opening ceremony at Laganside court complex.

Amid tight security, including specially trained police marksmen on rooftops, a small crowd applauded as the party arrived at the £30 million glass-fronted building in the city centre this morning.

Her Majesty was welcomed by the Northern Ireland Lord Chief Justice Sir Robert Carswell, the Lord Lieutenant of Belfast Lady Carswell, Sheriff of Belfast Margaret Clark, Belfast City Council Chief Executive Peter McNaney and MP for South Belfast the Rev Martin Smyth.

The Queen and Prince Philip were then introduced to Lord Chancellor Derry Irvine, the Recorder of Belfast Judge Hart, and the Director of the Northern Ireland Court Service David Lavery. The Queen then met Court Service staff, members of the judiciary and other members of the legal profession.

The Queen is expected to attend a series of engagements in Belfast throughout the day.

Earlier this week Lord Irvine of Lairg opened the Court House in Dungannon.

(SP)

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