Belfast Telegraph

Parliaments to mark opening of London Olympics ...with bells on

By Lesley-Anne McKeown

Stormont is to join with Big Ben to mark the opening of the London Olympics.

All four parliaments in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England will be ringing their division bells in unison for three minutes from 8.12am tomorrow.

Community groups and individuals are also being encouraged to take part in the ‘All the Bells’ event which is part of Turner Prize-winning artists and musician Martin Creed’s commission for the London 2012 festival.

Willie Hay, speaker at the Northern Ireland Assembly, said: “This is a unique moment in which we can all celebrate our part in the Olympic and Paralympic Games coming to the UK.

“It is also an opportunity for everyone across Northern Ireland to join in and welcome the world’s attention to our shores. It is a moment for us all to enjoy together.”

Friday will be the first time that the strike of Big Ben has been rung outside its regular schedule since February 1952, when it tolled every minute for 56 strokes from 9.30am for the funeral of King George VI.

Sports Minister Caral Ni Chuilin said: “This is a chance to get involved and make some noise. I would encourage everyone to take part on Friday at 8.12am by ringing any bell – a door bell, a bike bell, even a cymbal.”

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