For many years when I worked in Parliament Buildings, Belfast, I attended the Act of Remembrance which was then held in the Senate Chamber. I used to get annoyed at the action (or rather inaction) of some Assembly Members by them not standing up for the British National Anthem, God save the Queen.
More recently, principally because of now living in the Republic of Ireland, I appreciate that the inclusion of national anthems in Acts of Remembrance can be quite difficult for everyone.
It is heartening, therefore, to me to read the letter from Mr Speaker McLaughlin on the subject of the Act of Remembrance in Parliament Buildings last week. It seems that there was no music whatsoever at the event.
In the coming year there are many events and centenaries that all of us on this island of Ireland and beyond need to be able to commemorate together. I hope that Mr Speaker is correct in his hope that
We can design fully separate events which would be missed opportunities or we can work together to take account of each other’s sensitivities and differences to produce shared and inclusive events which would be beneficial to us all.
In the evening of Armistice Day 2015, Parliament Buildings were lit up in red for the first time.
You can read the rest of his letter to MLAs here.