Hiding Stormont's Unionist History
Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:
“Some time ago I drew attention to the fact that a large number of pictures of Royalty – including one of Her Majesty the Queen – are no longer on display in Parliament Buildings. This being the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year I believe that Stormont should seek the return of Lydia de Burgh’s portrait of Her Majesty so that it can be suitably displayed.
“As a result of further Assembly Questions I have established that other works of art belonging to the Assembly (including portraits of former Prime Ministers JM Andrews and Viscount Craigavon as well as one of Sir Henry Wilson who was involved in the famous Curragh Incident in March 1914) are stored in a “secure commercial storage facility in Mallusk”.
“Since I began asking about the fate of Stormont’s art work I discovered that previously the Great Hall contained a mahogany table on which the Royal Assent to the Act of Union was signed in 1800.
“When I asked where the table currently is I was informed that it too is in a storage facility in Mallusk.
“It seems incredible to me that an object of such historic significance could be hidden away in such a fashion.
“And mystery still surrounds the vase made to commemorate the Coronation in 1953 which used to stand in Stormont’s Great Hall as well.
“I intend to explore all these issues further with the Assembly Commission and seek – where possible – their restoration to public display.”