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SDLP to give away Queen tickets

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The SDLP leadership met the Queen a decade ago as a gesture to unionists

The SDLP leadership met the Queen a decade ago as a gesture to unionists

The SDLP leadership met the Queen a decade ago as a gesture to unionists

Nationalist politicians at the Northern Ireland Assembly are to apply for tickets to see the Queen - but plan to give them away to Stormont staff.

The SDLP leadership met the Queen a decade ago as a gesture to unionists when the party held the dominant political position now secured by Sinn Fein.

SDLP politicians would not be expected to necessarily attend the major celebration of the Queen's reign planned for Stormont when the monarch visits later this month.

But the party has asked its representatives to apply for the quota of four tickets each Assembly member is entitled to receive. It is understood the move is to allow SDLP representatives to gift tickets to Assembly staff who might like to attend.

An SDLP party email sent to its Assembly members advised of the entitlement to tickets and proposed the opportunity to make the cross-community gesture by passing tickets to interested staff.

This comes as the Northern Ireland Office said the 10,000 tickets to be released to the public for the event are available through Ticketmaster from 9am on Tuesday June 19.

The celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee will take place on June 27 in the grounds of the Stormont Estate in Belfast.

Tickets will be released via the Ticketmaster website (www.ticketmaster.ie) and the Ticketmaster 24-hour call centre (0844 2774455).

Tickets will not be available through Ticketmaster Outlets.

PA