Northern Ireland

Risk of falling debris at Stormont prompts suggestion for government to move

The Stormont Assembly and Executive
The Stormont Assembly and Executive

Problems with the roof of a canteen, and the potential for falling debris in Parliament Buildings, has prompted one assembly member to suggest it might be a good time to plan a move by the Stormont government. 

A section of the seating area of the Blue Flax Restaurant is cordoned off while an investigation is carried out, Stormont officials told the BBC, which also reported there are long running issues with the roof of the buildings.

People Before Profit MLA Gerry Carroll linked the risks of part of the roof falling in to the current political stalemate, suggesting a "certain irony" attached to the issues.

Mr Carroll added: "Repairs should be actioned when necessary, but people will rightly wonder whether Stormont still represents good value for money and whether the building should serve another public purpose."

People Before Profit MLA Gerry Carroll. Picture Mal McCann
People Before Profit MLA Gerry Carroll. Picture Mal McCann

The Assembly Commission, which manages the buildings and grounds, previously said expert advice was obtained and "any urgent holding repairs identified by those experts have been carried out".

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Legal proceedings had been issued against the architects and contractors over ongoing issues with the roof, according to an assembly spokesperson.

Recycling bins and a food tray trolley have been strategically to block off the area of the canteen at risk. Complaints have been made about buckets being placed in corridors because of leaks from the ceilings.

An assembly spokesperson said: "Recently, ongoing issues with the roof have resulted in some concerns about the theoretical risk of small pieces of debris falling on a part of the Blue Flax roof.

"Out of an abundance of caution, a small segment of the Blue Flax restaurant has been cordoned off while remedial measures are investigated and put in place.

"Interim measures have not resulted in any diminution of service to building users."