The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) spent nearly £26,000 hosting a royal garden party at Hillsborough Castle. The 5th of July banquet was attended by Princess Royal and was the first to be held in Hillsboro. which is the official residence of the royal family in Northern Ireland Since the outbreak of COVID-19
The cost of hosting a party is £25,958.62.
It also appears that NIO has paid around £85,000 over the past two years to use Hillsborough Castle as a residence for Northern Ireland’s foreign minister.
The costs are contained in figures released by NIO about over £25,000 spent by the government.
The annual Gardens Party at Hillsborough is one of the highlights of Northern Ireland’s social calendar.
Guests often come from all over the North who are invited to meet with members of the royal family in the castle grounds.
Approximately 1,000 guests attended the July event to honor their contribution to the community.
The incident did not occur in 2020 and 2021 as a result of the pandemic.
The most recent banquet was hosted by then-Secretary of State Brandon Lewis. which was replaced by Chris Heaton-Harris Earlier this month after Liz Truss took office as Prime Minister.
as well as meeting guests during a party. Princess Royal also planted oak trees in the castle’s walled garden.
Catering for the event was hosted by Yellow Door based in Portadown.
Hillsborough’s property and estates are managed on behalf of the royal family by the historic palace. which also maintains the residences of other royal families Many more in the UK
Although Hillsborough is the official residence of the royal family in Northern Ireland. The foreign minister was still in this residence when he was in the country.
Records show that in the last fiscal year 2021/2022, NIO paid a total of £47,172 to the historic palace to use Hillsborough Castle to provide accommodation for the foreign minister.
In fiscal year 2020/21, NIO paid £38,400 to use the property for the same purpose.
the independent sunday Asked NIO how many nights the foreign secretary had stayed in Hillsborough in the last two financial years, however, no such information was provided, and an NIO spokesman said the question was more appropriate as a Freedom of Information request.
Although Hillsborough is described as a castle. But Hillsborough is a big house. by castle refers to the original fortress on the site. It was the Hill family’s first home. The Hill family sold the house to the British government in 1925 and became the official residence of the governor of Northern Ireland.
When the government introduced the rules directly from Westminster in 1972 due to the growing severity of the problem. The role of governor of Northern Ireland was abolished and replaced with the position of Foreign Minister.
since then Hillsborough Castle was also used by the Secretary of State when visiting Northern Ireland.
Hillsborough Castle has also played a pivotal role in some of the major political events in Northern Ireland’s recent history.
In 1985, the Anglo-Irish Agreement was signed at Hillsborough by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Taoseak Garret Fitzgerald.
In 2010, the Hillsborough deal was signed there. This resulted in the collapse of police power and justice in Northern Ireland.
because it is related to the royal family Hillsborough Castle is therefore the focus of many who want to pay tribute to the queen after her latest death. Thousands of bouquets and gifts were left at the door of the Hillsborough mansion in honor of the queen.
meanwhile NIO’s financial figures also revealed some of the costs of hosting a special concert last year. To celebrate Northern Ireland’s most famous performer
The Life at the Waterfront! The incident took place at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall on October 22.
Among those who performed at the night were Ash, Cara Dillon, Foy Vance and Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody, giving away more than 70 free concert tickets to key practitioners in healthcare and society. Food retailing and charity to honor the work they did during the epidemic.
The concert was funded by NIO through the centenary project budget.
The Life at the Waterfront! The event was shown on the Sky Arts channel in December and the concert was produced for television by Green Inc Film and Television Ltd based in Holywood, Co Down.
NIO paid Green Inc Film and Television totaling £235,887.55 for the entry. The money was paid three times in November and December last year.
Another company, Snow Water Productions, which helps produce the Belfast concert, was paid £31,496.70 by NIO last December.