Definition of the Northern Ireland Assembly noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


    the Northern Ireland Assembly

    ; NAmE
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  1. 1the regional government of Northern Ireland from 1973 to 1986
  2. 2the parliament of Northern Ireland that was first elected in 1998
  3. Culture The Northern Ireland Assembly is the name of a governing body in Northern Ireland that has existed at various times and then been suspended because of political disagreements between political parties in Northern Ireland and with the British government. From 1921 Northern Ireland was governed by a parliament in Stormont, in Belfast, but after the start of the political violence, known as the Troubles, the province was placed under direct rule from London. The Assembly has been in operation several times from 1973-75 and again from 1982-86 when the majority party, the Ulster Unionist Party stopped supporting it because of the Anglo-Irish Agreement. In 1998 the assembly was set up again as a separate parliament for Northern Ireland with 108 members as part of the Good Friday Agreement. It continued until 2002 with David Trimble as the First Minister in charge of the Northern Ireland Executive, which formed the legislative body for Northern Ireland with powers devolved (= transferred) to it from the Westminster parliament. The assembly was suspended again in 2002 because of disagreements between political parties about sharing power. Elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly took place in March 2007 and it was restored in May 2007.