15 May 2006

Assembly members meet at Stormont

RTÉ

15 May 2006 12:01

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usNorthern Ireland's political parties have met at Stormont for the first time since devolved government was suspended in 2002.

Eileen Bell, the speaker appointed by the Northern Secretary Peter Hain, outlined her plans to the 108 assembly members.

Ms Bell told the MLAs that their conduct in the chamber would influence how they were viewed by the public.

There was also a moment of silence as a mark of respect to the murdered Ballymena teenager Mivchale McIllvine.

Before the chamber adjourned, the Progressive Unionist party leader, David Irvine, aligned himself with the Ulster Unionists.

The Irish and British governments have given the parties until November to agree on setting up a new power-sharing administration.

Today marked the first serious, structured attempt in four years to re-open Stormont for business.

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