Stormont to go orange and green
The Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont has long been steeped in the politics of orange and green but it is now set to be bathed in the colours as well.
Parties have agreed to light up the facade of the landmark Parliament Buildings in green on St Patrick's Day later this month and orange on July 12 for the biggest commemoration of the Protestant loyal order marching season.
The Assembly Commission, which is made of representatives of the five main Executive parties, has also agreed to turn Stormont purple to mark International Women's Day on March 9 and red for Remembrance Day on November 11.
A limited number of additional days each year will also be considered by the Commission on request from charitable, community or non-profit organisations or in relation to specific events.
Parliament Buildings is following a trail blazed by Belfast City Hall which regularly changes colour for significant dates in the calendar.
Speaker of the Assembly and chair of the Assembly Commission, Mitchel McLaughlin, said:
"As the home of the Assembly, Parliament Buildings should set a lead in demonstrating respect to all sections of our community.
"I therefore commend the very constructive role Assembly Commission members have played in reaching consensus on this list of days on which the building will be lit containing days which will be of more or less significance to every party.
"The fact that on these days 'the house on the hill' will be seen lit up from miles around will I hope send a positive message of the agreement that is possible and that deserves credit."
The other members of the commission are the DUP's Peter Weir, Sinn Fein's Caitriona Ruane, Ulster Unionist Sam Gardiner, the SDLP's Pat Ramsey and Alliance's Judith Cochrane.