Northern Ireland news

Video that divulged MLA's health details and another's plans for Christmas posted on Assembly website

A screenshot from the casual chat ahead of last Friday's Executive Committee meeting that was posted on the assembly website

VIDEO footage posted on the Stormont assembly's website divulged personal details about an MLA's poor health and revealed another's plans for the Christmas break.

A 12-minute preamble to last Friday's Executive Office Committee meeting with Commissioner for Survivors of Institutional Abuse Fiona Ryan included informal discussions about how the previous meeting failed to take place, alongside a chat about domestic arrangements over the festive season.

It includes a casual, remote conversation between Ms Ryan and assembly clerk Michael Potter, who are then joined by committee chair Sinead McLaughlin.

The footage formed part of two-and-a-half hour video that is posted on the Northern Ireland Assembly website alongside other coverage of plenaries and committees. The conversation in question took place before the committee went 'live' but the video was uploaded in unedited form.

The person who alerted The Irish News to the content said they believed the participants would be embarrassed to learn their private conversation had been made public.

The assembly removed the video once contacted for comment.

An Executive Committee meeting with Ms Ryan two days previous had to be stopped because there were not enough MLAs.

In the video, before Friday's meeting began, the commissioner asks the clerk if there is quorum and is informed there is but that one MLA won't be attending because of illness.

Ms Ryan speaks of the disappointment those she represents felt after the cancellation of last Wednesday's meeting.

With the arrival of Ms McLaughlin remotely the conversation takes on a lighter tone, focussing mostly on personal and domestic arrangements for the festive season.

After 12 minutes, the other MLAs join remotely and the committee's official business begins.

The assembly has yet to comment.

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Northern Ireland news