16/07/2013 Stormont Today


16/07/2013

Mark Carruthers presents a special edition of Stormont Today as the Assembly was recalled to discuss determinations by the Parades Commission and their impact on a shared future.


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edition of Stormont Today as the Assembly is we called for the second

:00:30.:00:35.

time in two weeks. On the agenda, the Ardoyne Parade ruling and the

:00:35.:00:40.

violence that followed. It is not a shared future without loyalist hands

:00:40.:00:50.
:00:50.:00:51.

men and women, if you cannot share a road or a street. I am not up for

:00:51.:00:55.

holy statues appearing on bonfires, for if it is of working priest,

:00:55.:01:01.

people well respected, being part of that, if that can be described at

:01:01.:01:07.

all as culture. So MLAs have had to delay their

:01:08.:01:13.

holidays for another week as the Assembly was recalled for the second

:01:13.:01:18.

time and when MLAs written, so do we. To date members were discussing

:01:18.:01:21.

a motion calling the Parades Commission ruling on the Ardoyne

:01:21.:01:24.

July 12 parade illogical. That mission was tabled before the

:01:24.:01:29.

weekend violence which prompted an amendment from Sinn came. He is

:01:29.:01:37.

Peter Robinson proposing the main motion. There were many who catch of

:01:37.:01:44.

words in the run-up to the 12th of July in terms of placing hope for

:01:44.:01:50.

that occasion. -- who placed our words. We had the experience of the

:01:51.:01:54.

previous year. On the previous year, there have been a strange, some

:01:54.:02:02.

would say foolish, determination by the Parades Commission which

:02:02.:02:06.

required the Orange marches that normally would have taken that route

:02:06.:02:12.

to be there at a time that I suspect Mo Farah could not have reached on

:02:12.:02:21.

foot from the field. Yet in spite of the determination that was made, the

:02:21.:02:25.

Orange institution did try and resolve the difficulty that they

:02:25.:02:33.

faced. They sent their officers by transport. They walked the route

:02:33.:02:38.

home and they did so in a peaceful and dignified way, keeping the

:02:38.:02:45.

Parades Commission determination. Given those circumstances one might

:02:46.:02:48.

have assumed that if the Parades Commission were to look at the issue

:02:48.:02:52.

of the parade itself, there could only be one outcome that they would

:02:52.:02:58.

reach and that was that you should reward those who kept the

:02:58.:03:02.

determination and punish those who did not. Yet what did the Parades

:03:02.:03:05.

Commission do on this occasion? Readily be opposite. They rewarded

:03:05.:03:11.

those who had reached the Parades Commission determination, who had

:03:11.:03:17.

opened up on the police, and they punished those who kept the

:03:17.:03:22.

determination on that boat had been a difficulty termination to keep. --

:03:22.:03:27.

although it had been. I do not think anyone who takes a ceremonial sword

:03:27.:03:32.

to be head of a police officer can find anywhere more suitable to be

:03:32.:03:36.

done in prison. It is not a shared future without the Orange

:03:36.:03:42.

institution. Without loyalist bans men and women. If you cannot share a

:03:42.:03:48.

road or a street. If you have to share somebody else's ideology

:03:48.:03:52.

before you can have it. So let's be be about the shared future must be

:03:52.:03:57.

bombed the whole community can feel a part of, that they feel there is

:03:57.:04:02.

some, yes, equality, in terms of the sharing. Our political correspondent

:04:02.:04:09.

is with me. What were the key points in Peter Robinson's speech for you?

:04:09.:04:12.

He spoke about the need for a measured debate and I would say that

:04:12.:04:19.

by and large it was fairly measured. He made the point that the DUP

:04:19.:04:22.

demotion was drafted some days ago and I think that is one of the

:04:22.:04:27.

recent estimate by the motion did not include the condemnation of

:04:28.:04:32.

violence but the First Minister made it clear it was not okayed to attack

:04:32.:04:37.

a police officer with a sword, and condemned the violence of people

:04:37.:04:43.

going about their business, including Nigel Dodds who was at the

:04:43.:04:46.

scene. He also pointed up to the Orange Order to come up with ideas

:04:46.:04:54.

for the forthcoming multiparty talks this autumn. They will be chaired by

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American Richard Haass. He said that the grand Lodge have defeated

:04:58.:05:01.

previous proposals to replace the Parades Commission so he is looking

:05:01.:05:06.

to them to come up with an alternative. He also spoke about how

:05:06.:05:11.

Richard Haass was the first choice to chaired these talks. He's in town

:05:11.:05:15.

tomorrow to talk to the parties. He said it was vital everyone committed

:05:15.:05:18.

themselves to resolving the issues, and noted Richard Haass was giving

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his time for free, he did not want to be paid. He also made the point

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that it is not a shared future, as you heard, if you cannot share the

:05:29.:05:37.

road, if you cannot have loyalist bands. Peter Robinson was talking

:05:37.:05:41.

through the main motion. Talk us through Sinn Fein's amendment.

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Sinn Fein motion replaced almost all the words of the DUP motion and made

:05:46.:05:51.

a number of points. It noted the determination of the Parades

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Commission Re: the three lodges in Ardoyne. It supported efforts for a

:05:55.:06:00.

resolution. It condemned the orchestrated attacks on the police

:06:00.:06:05.

and community and it linked those attacks to the Orange Order's

:06:05.:06:08.

refusal to accept the determination of the Parades Commission. It called

:06:08.:06:13.

for respect and tolerance for all. The shared future requires mutual

:06:13.:06:17.

respect. It also made the key point that Gerry Adams made yesterday that

:06:17.:06:22.

the answer to this is dialogue. They called for immediate dialogue at

:06:23.:06:30.

community level. We heard from several members. We will hear more

:06:30.:06:37.

on that throughout the programme. It was very obvious approach in

:06:37.:06:39.

Parliament buildings today that there was a protest taking place at

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the foot of the steps. A lot of police presence around and some

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protesters with likes. Who were they and what were they demonstrating

:06:48.:06:58.

about? I saw a banner to do with flags. There was a couple of dozen

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people there. Some were coming and going. They were coming in to be

:07:02.:07:08.

said is' galleries to watch the debate. I noticed that the DQ P self

:07:08.:07:18.
:07:18.:07:19.

Belfast -- DUP South Belfast politician had attended. Protesters

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said they did not want Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly of the cork on this

:07:24.:07:30.

issue. Let's hear some of Gerry Kelly's contribution as he spoke in

:07:30.:07:34.

favour of the amendment. Sustained attacks on people within the

:07:34.:07:44.
:07:44.:07:45.

community. I have to say that the Orange Order can't is associate

:07:45.:07:49.

themselves from that because it was obvious that there were Orange Order

:07:49.:07:56.

people involved. -- is associate. have to say that it was clearly

:07:56.:08:01.

planned. People talk about whether that was or wasn't a planned but to

:08:01.:08:08.

bring the type of crowd that was brought was really planned. There

:08:08.:08:12.

was a notion that it was inevitable. I do not think it was inevitable.

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Certainly once you put those there it was inevitable. There was a pipe

:08:18.:08:28.

bomb attack and I absolutely condemn it. I am absolutely up for it and

:08:28.:08:32.

agree with Peter Robinson that the Orange Order and the residents and

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everybody else in our society has to be part of the future, and know what

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is arguing against that. But it also calls for talks. I would argue that

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it has to be based on the quality. We have to defend that as well. --

:08:51.:08:56.

based on equality. I am not up for sectarianism or racism, no matter

:08:56.:09:03.

where it comes from. I am not up for holy statues appearing on bonfires.

:09:03.:09:09.

I am not up for effigies of working priests, people well respected,

:09:09.:09:14.

being part of that, that can be described at all as culture. There

:09:14.:09:20.

is no Republican war on the culture of British national loyalism or

:09:20.:09:25.

anything else. I think it is believed in a wide range of people

:09:26.:09:34.

because it is handled by people who should know better in leadership. --

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peddled. It is a fact, as we stand here, that 95%, and we go back to

:09:40.:09:49.

last December, 95% of all the regalia is in the City Hall yet we

:09:49.:09:55.

are almost 50-50 in this city. We have to talk about not just British

:09:55.:10:02.

and but what is Irishness? Where is the respect for Irishness? We need

:10:02.:10:08.

to defend it better than we have defended it up until now. Sinn

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Fein's Gerry Kelly. Although Mike Nesbitt was supporting the motion,

:10:12.:10:15.

the Ulster Unionist Party death have strong criticism about some of the

:10:15.:10:23.

11th night bonfires and we hear this comment after the STL P's North

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Belfast MLA. It was a compromise effectively.

:10:30.:10:35.

That decision was that the orange could march down the road on the

:10:35.:10:42.

morning of the trial. But they were not permitted to mark up again. --

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the Orange could mark down the road on the 12th of July. It was a good

:10:48.:10:52.

compromise to try to resolve the situation this year and it is wrong

:10:52.:10:57.

as politicians to undermine the Parades Commission by that sort of

:10:57.:11:03.

overt criticism by the First Minister. The people of Ardoyne have

:11:03.:11:06.

suffered too much over too many years. They have suffered

:11:06.:11:12.

triumphalism. They have suffered from sectarian abuse. There is a

:11:12.:11:18.

whole history, a whole history of the people of Ardoyne bearing the

:11:18.:11:24.

brunt of abuse. And I believe that those people deserve some

:11:24.:11:27.

consideration, and they deserve liberation from the tragic history

:11:27.:11:34.

of the past. Mr Speaker, I understand that last week a

:11:34.:11:41.

religious icon was stolen and placed on an 11th night on fire. Can I make

:11:41.:11:50.

it clear that was not done in my name? I deplore that act. In a

:11:50.:11:54.

moment, Mr Humphries. I deplore that act and I want to acknowledge the

:11:54.:11:56.

clear hurt that would have been caused within the Catholic

:11:56.:12:02.

community. I understand that there was some sort of Hallows on a

:12:02.:12:11.

bonfire. -- gallows. That has been taken as a reference to a well liked

:12:11.:12:16.

and popular priest who took his own life recently. That was not done in

:12:16.:12:19.

my name, and I acknowledge the deep hurt in the Catholic community over

:12:19.:12:26.

that. I deplore all sectarian acts including those recently by

:12:26.:12:29.

nationalists, attacks on Orange halls which there have been

:12:29.:12:34.

recently, but also the burning of the Irish national flag. Those

:12:34.:12:38.

comments spot a response from the DUP's William Humphrey, which in

:12:38.:12:44.

turn led to some of the sharpest part of the debate.

:12:44.:12:51.

I spoke to the gentleman last night who returned the icon to Father Gary

:12:51.:12:58.

Donegan at Holycross Chapel. The icon was thrown into the bonfire by

:12:59.:13:04.

people in the North. It is factual. I spoke to the gentleman who

:13:04.:13:08.

returned it and he took it to Father Gary Donegan. That is a

:13:08.:13:18.
:13:18.:13:18.

conversation. Order! Point of order. We do not enjoy in this house the

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right to be arrogant and abusive and insulting. Nor do we enjoy...

:13:27.:13:33.

Order! Nor do we enjoy the right to go against what was published on the

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front page of the newspaper. Order! The member has got it now on the

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record. Let's move on. But let us not abuse point of order. That is

:13:47.:13:51.

exactly what I feel may be happening. Let's move on. Order! Mr

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Kelly. Just to clear the situation, is to Humphries said it was thrown

:13:59.:14:04.

on the bonfire. Could Hicks Lane how in the photographs the statue is

:14:04.:14:12.

sitting upright in the plinth? -- could he explain? Let's get back to

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the motion before us. The speaker battling to maintain

:14:19.:14:28.

order. Father Gary Dunagan who was referred to in proceedings has

:14:28.:14:32.

attempted to clarify how the statue came to be on the bonfire. We heard

:14:32.:14:36.

what William Humphries said. phoned farther down again to see if

:14:36.:14:39.

there was any truth to the possibility that Republicans or

:14:39.:14:44.

people from elsewhere had thrown the statue on the fire. He said he

:14:44.:14:48.

disputed what Mr Humphreys said. He said his information was that petty

:14:48.:14:53.

criminals from the Republican side had stolen -- stolen a car and then

:14:53.:14:57.

swap the stolen car with petty criminals from the loyalist side and

:14:57.:15:02.

the statue was left in the back of a car. Presumably it was taken to the

:15:02.:15:06.

bonfire by loyalists. It was stolen by republican youths who were up to

:15:06.:15:12.

no good. He said that he was very relieved to get it back. He paid

:15:12.:15:15.

tribute to the good Samaritan, Wallace Thompson, who returned the

:15:15.:15:20.

statue. He said it had become the basis of his sermon last Sunday and

:15:20.:15:23.

he was having it repaired. If they didn't find the original owner, it

:15:23.:15:29.

would be placed in a garden. Once that row over the statue

:15:29.:15:32.

settles, it was David Forde 's chance to speak. He made it was

:15:32.:15:35.

David Forde 's chance to speak. You may it clear the Alliance party was

:15:35.:15:38.

supporting the amendment because expressed support for the parades

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commission. Over 90% of parades last Friday proceeded with no

:15:42.:15:46.

determination whatsoever. The great majority of those for which way

:15:46.:15:49.

determination were made did not require any significant policing

:15:49.:15:54.

effort. We are talking about a tiny number of restrictions and to

:15:54.:15:56.

suggest that is tantamount to restrictions on their culture is

:15:56.:16:04.

utter rubbish. The example I would put to you of your beaming space, as

:16:04.:16:07.

you personally walked across Craigavon Bridge, recorded by a

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television in your lodge, the Londonderry city grand Lodge,

:16:12.:16:15.

walking into parade within the walls of Derry, that's an example of what

:16:15.:16:21.

a shared future actually means. It is an example of negotiation,

:16:21.:16:24.

understanding, seeking to make accommodations and it has proven

:16:24.:16:29.

that it can work in Derry and there is no reason why it should not work

:16:29.:16:33.

in North and East Belfast as well. If only people were prepared to

:16:33.:16:37.

commit themselves. There is a place in a shared future for Orange

:16:37.:16:41.

culture. Just as there is a place for green culture and gay culture

:16:41.:16:45.

and every other kind of culture we might want to see.

:16:45.:16:48.

Two hours have been set aside for the debates are not everyone who

:16:48.:16:53.

wanted to speak was able to. It's often the smaller parties to get

:16:53.:16:59.

squeezed in such circumstances. The NI 21 leader Basil the great did get

:17:00.:17:03.

to take part and he rose to support the amendment. When I stand up and

:17:03.:17:08.

criticise, and I am criticising the Orange order, it is actually with

:17:08.:17:12.

their best interests at heart. to say to them, can you not please

:17:12.:17:17.

find a way to actually celebrate or culture, which you have an absolute

:17:17.:17:20.

right to do, which you can demonstrate how well it was done in

:17:20.:17:26.

Londonderry and another places? I'll have a speech which was given to me

:17:26.:17:31.

by Drew Nelson when he spoke in Dublin. You talk about the history

:17:31.:17:34.

of the culture and all the issues. These things are all to be

:17:34.:17:38.

celebrated. But I have to tell you, if you are clicking the police, if

:17:38.:17:43.

you are attacking the police, if you are using defamatory language, you

:17:43.:17:46.

are saying the flanks protesters were right when they were wrong, if

:17:46.:17:51.

you are doing all of those things, you are doing it for your own

:17:51.:17:55.

selfish self-interest is not for the people of Northern Ireland. With the

:17:55.:17:57.

two-hour debate concludes, it was time for the summing up.

:17:57.:18:02.

Sammy Wilson did the honours for the DDP but first it was Sinn Fein 's

:18:02.:18:07.

Karen McKellen on the amendment. I do accept and I think it has

:18:07.:18:17.
:18:17.:18:17.

been... The fact that the parades commission are the only show in town

:18:17.:18:21.

because there is no resolution with the loyal borders and some of the

:18:21.:18:26.

residents groups and until there are resolutions, then the parades

:18:26.:18:32.

commission will prevail. Then what happens is, when the parades

:18:33.:18:37.

commission make determinations, there is happiness on one side and

:18:37.:18:41.

unhappiness on another. I do understand the point that has been

:18:41.:18:46.

made because I share it. I believe it determination in relation to

:18:46.:18:50.

north Belfast was a compromise. I spoke to some of the residents, as

:18:50.:18:56.

did my colleague and others, and they weren't happy at all. But the

:18:56.:19:01.

maturity and leadership which they showed in their community,

:19:01.:19:08.

particularly around the residents group, I believe was a welcome move.

:19:08.:19:13.

It wasn't a popular move in the community. I can testify to that. I

:19:13.:19:18.

also want to pay tribute to the Orange marshals outside St Patrick's

:19:18.:19:26.

Church. Thank you. They tried their very best to do a good job. I want

:19:26.:19:32.

that on the record. I think they did and despite some challenging

:19:32.:19:35.

circumstances. There have been a number of issues which have been

:19:35.:19:38.

raised today. The first is the issue of the parades commission. We've had

:19:38.:19:44.

the usual people trotted out and trotting out their defence of the

:19:44.:19:48.

commission. I've got to say they've got a very short memories. Mr Kelly

:19:48.:19:52.

tells us that we should accept the parades commission. I can remember

:19:52.:19:59.

it wasn't so long ago that he was supporting residency judicially

:19:59.:20:04.

reviewed the decisions of the commission. I've heard Mr McGuinness

:20:04.:20:07.

criticise the parades commission. We are told by the justice minister

:20:07.:20:10.

that it is a legally constituted body and therefore deserves

:20:10.:20:14.

support. Can you not criticise a decision of a legally constituted

:20:14.:20:21.

body? People criticise his department, my department, all other

:20:21.:20:31.
:20:31.:20:36.

departments. We of course now have NI 21. They cede the parades

:20:36.:20:43.

commission. They see them as featuring as part of the 21st

:20:43.:20:48.

century. Will God help us if we are stuck with it for the whole of the

:20:48.:20:51.

21st century. Our objective is to see that the parades commission

:20:51.:21:01.
:21:01.:21:03.

goes. And we hope... Even though the shelflife of NI 21 might be assured,

:21:03.:21:07.

we hope that the shelflife of the parades commission would be even

:21:07.:21:17.
:21:17.:21:18.

shorter and that's saying something. Now all we needed was a vote. Talk

:21:18.:21:25.

us through that amendment. The amendment was defeated by three

:21:26.:21:31.

votes, not surprisingly. Sinn Fein supporter dead. It also drew

:21:31.:21:34.

Alliance and support. Notably, to Unionists crossed the floor to

:21:34.:21:41.

support it. That's the new Unionist party, NI 21. They backed the Sinn

:21:41.:21:45.

Fein motion which supported the decision of the parades commission

:21:45.:21:48.

regarding Ardoyne. What about the results of the main motion itself?

:21:48.:21:53.

It's a very tight vote indeed. The motion from the DP passed by just

:21:53.:21:59.

one vote. Not surprisingly, it won support from the Unionist benches.

:21:59.:22:06.

The Greens, Stephen Agnew, he abstained. It was tight enough for

:22:07.:22:15.

the DP. Where does that leave us? It was a relatively anodyne motion. The

:22:15.:22:19.

most contentious line in it was that the parades commission decision was

:22:19.:22:24.

illogical. If it really had Nationalists exercised, they would

:22:24.:22:28.

have tabled a petition of concern. It is a victory of sorts for

:22:28.:22:32.

unionism. It would be difficult to block commission when there was a

:22:32.:22:35.

lot of people lecturing the people last week about using NAT device to

:22:35.:22:43.

block the motion. There was a lot more bite in all of that last week

:22:43.:22:48.

than today. Last week was much more tempestuous but it was an unusual

:22:48.:22:52.

debate last week. Obviously, there was an effort today to keep things

:22:52.:22:56.

measured. When things get heated at Stormont, it does translate to the

:22:56.:23:00.

streets. That was the assembly adjourned for the summer but the

:23:00.:23:07.

debate still -- spilled out into the great Hall both Willie Frazer

:23:07.:23:17.
:23:17.:23:18.

confronting John McAllister. What I see... People are against everything

:23:18.:23:21.

and then they say what is your alternative? You don't have an

:23:21.:23:31.
:23:31.:23:31.

alternative. Oh, yes, I do. Find a way of putting it forward. I can

:23:31.:23:37.

only talk to one person at a time. It was busy in the great Hall.

:23:37.:23:42.

do you make of that? William Fraser has a reputation not just as a

:23:42.:23:47.

protest but also a campaigner and someone who doorsteps politicians.

:23:47.:23:50.

Balance -- Basil McCrea does like the cameras. He is used to the

:23:50.:23:55.

cameras. He was able to hold his own. It all ended amicably with an

:23:55.:23:58.

agreement that they would have their debate in private, possibly even in

:23:58.:24:03.

the great Hall at some future date. I would say that there was a lot of

:24:03.:24:07.

interest in the great Hall in the drama and some suggestion that

:24:07.:24:11.

William Fraser might have been arrested. He was arrested on

:24:11.:24:16.

suspicion of breaching his bail conditions.

:24:16.:24:21.

There was one of the major development today as the SDLP

:24:21.:24:24.

revealed its new environment minister. It turned out to be a

:24:24.:24:31.

wedding present for the newly married Mark Durcan. Here's the

:24:31.:24:37.

party leader outlining why he chose him. I chose him because I came in

:24:37.:24:46.

quite simply 18 months ago and I had a clear commitment from day one.

:24:46.:24:55.

left Alex the first bite. I was moving and Mark Durcan is the face

:24:55.:25:00.

of youth, the face of energy, the face of the future of the SDLP. I'm

:25:00.:25:08.

very happy that he has agreed to become a minister. This is a

:25:08.:25:13.

strategic decision to bolster, to move on. I have very clear

:25:13.:25:18.

commitments about bringing in a new generation and creating space for a

:25:18.:25:26.

new generation. This is all part of that. Alex has prepared a bit of

:25:26.:25:29.

light reading for me. I've got quite a lot of catching up to do.

:25:29.:25:36.

Fortunately, I will have the benefit of Alex experience. I can rely on

:25:36.:25:44.

that. The new SDLP environment Minister, Alec -- marketed in. You

:25:44.:25:52.

have to feel sorry for his new wife, don't you? There had been a lot of

:25:52.:25:58.

speculation that the job would in fact go to Joe Byrne. What was

:25:58.:26:03.

Alistair MacDonald thinking of? We did say a couple of weeks ago on the

:26:03.:26:08.

sofa that Joe Byrne was the leader 's choice and he was indeed the

:26:08.:26:11.

leader 's choice. But once it became in the public domain, there were

:26:11.:26:16.

people in the party who felt they were better options. The leader has

:26:16.:26:23.

had quite a lot of people lobbying him in recent days. Mark Durcan, I

:26:23.:26:28.

heard his name last night. It was confirmed today. He ticks a lot of

:26:28.:26:33.

boxers. He has youth and energy on his side. He also is from the West.

:26:33.:26:42.

It's important strategically. I think that is what swung it. It was

:26:42.:26:52.
:26:52.:26:53.

probably a copper mines between those who... -- a compromise. There

:26:53.:26:57.

is the legislation to reform the councils. That seems to be stuck in

:26:57.:27:02.

the office of the first Minister. He has planning to deal with. He said

:27:02.:27:11.

he wanted to pursue the same agenda that Alex Attwood had, green issues.

:27:11.:27:15.

We had the plastic bag tax. This was one big achievement that Alex

:27:15.:27:19.

Attwood will be remembered for because it certainly has impacted on

:27:19.:27:24.

our lives when they go shopping. I think he is hoping for a honeymoon

:27:24.:27:31.

period politically. He has got the summer to read in and I think

:27:31.:27:35.

because his wife used to be the SDLP press officer, she might be rather

:27:35.:27:39.

understanding. The good news for him is he doesn't have to make that

:27:39.:27:44.

drive now. He will have to drive to take into Stormont and he will be

:27:44.:27:49.

Mark Carruthers presents a special edition of Stormont Today as the Assembly was recalled for a plenary session to discuss determinations by the Parades Commission and their impact on a shared future.