Belfast Telegraph

Are MLAs running scared of Halloween?

By Lindy McDowell

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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