Stormont, Northern Ireland Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Stormont, Northern Ireland

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Parliament Building Stormont in Northern Ireland, dominates the Belfast skyline to the East. Nestling in the shoulder of the Craigantlet Hills, this white stone building surrounded by its ornamental gardens can be seen from any building or street with a reasonably clear line of sight. This was the home of the Northern Irish Parliament, and for 72 days in 1999 - 2000, it was the home of the Northern Irish Assembly. The nearby Stormont castle, shrouded by trees, is one of the residences for the Northern Ireland Secretary of State. It is used for times when they are unable to get out to Hillsborough1 or when they need to be close to the action.

The rest of the Stormont estate houses many of the headquarters for the various Northern Ireland departments as well as the Civil Service sports grounds.

In front of Parliament Building facing down the mile-long Prince of Wales Drive is a statue of Edward Carson, the Unionist who fought for a part of Ireland to remain united with the United Kingdom.

The week leading up to Good Friday 1998 was a time of great activity at Stormont. The world's press had gathered along with the Irish and British Prime Ministers for what was looking like becoming a breakthrough moment in the troubled history of Northern Ireland. Most of the political parties were trying to make a concerted effort to come to some sort of agreement on the future of Northern Ireland. In the early hours of Good Friday everybody left to catch a few hours sleep and to freshen up after a sleepless week. Later that morning, it was announced that 'The Belfast Agreement' had been signed to lead to devolved government in Northern Ireland.

1Another set of government buildings in Northern Ireland.

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