Tag Archives: East Antrim MLA

Democracy finds its voice in election of a Sinn Fein Speaker

Sinn Fein’s Mitchel McLaughlin outside Parliament Buildings. His election shows that our government is working By Liam Clarke – 15 January 2015 The election of Mitchel McLaughlin as Speaker at Stormont is a good day for democracy here – it shows that political commitments can be delivered. That feeling needs to be built in the coming months. It is not necessarily a matter of who is the best candidate. John Dallat and Roy Beggs who stood against Mr McLaughlin were also capable of the job. It is more about political stability. As things stand, neither the DUP nor Sinn Fein can hold power at Stormont on their own. They have got to work together or they both lose. If we are ever to move to a system where one of the parties can go into opposition then the trust will have to be deeper still. Five DUP members didn’t vote … Continue reading

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‘Strong work ethic’ of former UUP man

Tributes have been paid to former Ulster Unionist Party leader Jim Molyneaux, who passed away on Monday, March 9 at the age of 94. Lord Molyneaux, who served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, was South Antrim MP from 1970 – 1983 and later Lagan Valley MP from 1983 – 1997. He was leader of the UUP from 1979 – 1995. Paying tribute to Lord Molyneaux was East Antrim MLA, Roy Beggs Jr. “When I served as the secretary of the Ulster Young Unionist Council in 1986/87, I got to know Jim Molyneaux,” he said. “I worked alongside Jim and had canvassed with him on a number of occasions. He had a strong work ethic in representing both his constituents and the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland. “Aside from serving as a Member of Parliament for many decades, Jim also served as a … Continue reading

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Carrick teen’s petition on mental health presented to Assembly

Roy Beggs MLA with Carrick Grammar pupil Sara Patterson. INCT 08-738-CON A petition to make mental health education compulsory within the Northern Ireland curriculum has been raised at Stormont. Established by Carrickfergus Grammar School pupil Sara Patterson, the document was presented to the Assembly on Monday morning by East Antrim MLA Roy Beggs. Over 600 people signed the online and paper versions of the petition, which is addressed to Education Minister John O’Dowd. Speaking at the Assembly, Mr Beggs said: “The pressures on young people today are different to previous generations. There is increased pressure on achieving academic results and fewer young people are active in terms of sport and less time is being spent outside in the natural environment. “The internet, computer gaming and social media can also create problems in terms of isolation and internet bullying can lead to the loss of self-esteem and mental ill-health.” Praising the … Continue reading

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Mural ‘backward step’ – Beggs

A new UDA mural in Carrickfergus is a ‘backward step’ for the community, East Antrim MLA Roy Beggs has said. The image, which appeared in recent weeks in the Glenfield area, depicts a masked gunman beside a message which reads: ‘Better to die on your feet than live on your knees in an Irish Republic. Join the UDA’. Mr Beggs said: “For the past number of years, the paramilitary groups had reflected the concerns that there were in the community about the effect of paramilitary murals on young people in particular and had removed some murals and intimidatory imagery. I view the recent addition of a recruitment mural as a backward step. “I would ask all young people and parents to take great care before young people considering joining such organisations. All must be warned that leaving may not be as easy as joining. Criminal records that may result from … Continue reading

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Sinn Fein MLA Flanagan apologises for ‘provocative’ remarks

A Sinn Fein Assembly member has apologised for remarks made during a debate last week. Phil Flanagan had been banned from speaking after his contribution to a discussion on the use of Union Flags on Northern Ireland driving licences was deemed to be provocative. The Fermanagh/South Tyrone MLA said: “I apologise to you for remarks that I made during a debate here last Tuesday evening, which you have deemed, in your infinite wisdom, to have been a challenge to the chair. “I fully accept your ruling and I certainly will not challenge it. “I offer my sincere apologies for the comments that you deemed to be a challenge to the chair.” Mr Flanagan had complained about the way a debate was chaired by the Deputy Speaker Roy Beggs after he was interrupted by unionists. His punishment was handed out by Mitchel McLaughlin, a Sinn Fein party colleague who was elected … Continue reading

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