Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 31 May 2016

Are MLAs running scared of Halloween?

By Lindy McDowell

Published 01/11/2012

Oliver Cromwell banned Christmas. How come the Northern Ireland Assembly haven't got around to outlawing Halloween?

So far, anyway ... Surely in a place where Creationists get to post a disclaimer on the Giant's Causeway and religion generally has a role in every debate from carbon-dating to family planning, this has to be an oversight on the part of our ever-vigilant elected representatives.

You would think all those ghosties, ghoulies, witches, zombies and gore-splattered health workers would get up somebody's nose up at Stormont.

Maybe it's because Halloween has been celebrated for such a long time here. Long before America got hold of it. We exported it to them. They exported it back with add-on pumpkin and all that vast array of tack they do so brilliantly.

It's one of our most popular cross-community festivals. One of our few cross-community festivals. Which is perhaps why MLAs are loathe to wade into a row about it. Yet of all the things they do gurn about, you would think a celebration that involves devils, cross-dressing and fireworks (to name just three issues which normally get them going - Satan, sex and health and safety) would feature somewhere on their radar. Not like Stormont to miss a trick ...

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