Results 1–20 of 3553 for speaker:Conor Murphy

Northern Ireland Assembly: Private Members' Business: Ban Petroleum Licensing and Fracking (29 Apr 2024)

Conor Murphy: I welcome the opportunity to speak about this important issue. Climate change is one of the defining challenges of our time, and moving away from fossil fuels will be a vital part of the transition towards a greener economy and a more sustainable way of life. Reducing carbon emissions is one of my four key objectives. Reaching net zero by 2050 is both a legal requirement and a moral...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Private Members' Business: Ban Petroleum Licensing and Fracking (29 Apr 2024)

Conor Murphy: First, if it is a planning application, it is a matter for the Department for Infrastructure. Secondly, if it is the same issue as the one that, I think, the Member is raising, that is being decided by the council in relation to the application. As I was saying, it is time for us to act, and I intend to ban all forms of petroleum exploration and production, including fracking. That will help...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Economy: Non-domestic RHI: Proposals (29 Apr 2024)

Conor Murphy: Costings have been done, but they need to be bottomed out. Part of the paper that we brought to the Executive will do that. The Executive need to be agreeable to bringing the scheme to a close, and we will then put that forward. We have no doubt that it will be a matter of some debate and discussion. We have a sense of the cost. Bear in mind that the scheme was funded through annually managed...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Economy: Renewables Targets (29 Apr 2024)

Conor Murphy: I did not set the targets, so it is nothing to do with my ambition. The Executive in the previous mandate agreed the targets, and we all have to bend our will to make sure that we meet them. It is not just a legal obligation to meet them; it is a moral obligation. I understand that other jurisdictions are struggling, and I have no doubt that the targets are incredibly challenging. I also have...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Economy: Renewables Targets (29 Apr 2024)

Conor Murphy: As I said, that is a matter for the Executive as a whole. We have a responsibility there and we have a responsibility to work with others on it, and we certainly will not slack. That is why I made net zero one of the four priorities for the Department. When a strategic focus was being provided to the Department, I identified that a net zero approach as one of the four targets. We will do...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Economy: Shared Prosperity Fund (29 Apr 2024)

Conor Murphy: A lot of the funding that we provided to the sector came directly from European funding. That European funding was lost. We managed to plug the gap over COVID, but that funding came to an end in the last round. The funding was not replaced, despite the Government's promises. We have moved from a process where the Executive had funding that could be used through the Department for the Economy,...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Economy: Shared Prosperity Fund (29 Apr 2024)

Conor Murphy: Yes. I am more than happy to meet the Minister for Communities, as we have a shared interest in the matter. When we talk to people abroad and here, the big attraction for investment is the people and their skills. That is the number-one attraction that people refer to. Our biggest challenge is getting more people and more skills because of the way that that support has been removed from...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Economy: Tourism: Economic Potential (29 Apr 2024)

Conor Murphy: I agree with the Member that we could do much more. Some 70% of people employed in the tourism industry are outside Belfast, so support for it certainly adds to regional balance. A consultation document was out, and there has been a lot of feedback on that. We are now setting up a tourism implementation group, which will involve people from tourism, hospitality and other sectors to make sure...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Economy: Tourism: Economic Potential (29 Apr 2024)

Conor Murphy: A large brand attracts people. They become interested in the overall attraction — it might be the Wild Atlantic Way, which runs the full length of the west coast — and then, when people are interested in going there because of the large brand, you get into the local sectoral offer and what is available. That is what attracts any of us who plan a holiday. You look at an area that you might...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Economy: Tourism: Failte Ireland’s Brands (29 Apr 2024)

Conor Murphy: I have already had conversations with officials. A piece of work is already agreed and funded by the Shared Island Fund to consider linkages in relation to the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway coast. There is scope for looking at the other major brands, Ireland's Ancient East and the Hidden Heartlands. We are in a conversation about those, and I hope to see some movement there. Of course,...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Economy: Tourism: Failte Ireland’s Brands (29 Apr 2024)

Conor Murphy: Local political and cultural tours are opportunities to bring tourism benefits, including those from tourism spend, into areas that have not necessarily had a peace dividend. Things like the black taxi tours on the Falls and the Shankill are, I think, the second-biggest attraction in Belfast, without having been seriously promoted. I am sure that, in Derry, the experience of the walls and the...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Economy: Apprenticeships (29 Apr 2024)

Conor Murphy: There is a range of programmes that deal with apprenticeships. They are critical. As I said in response to one of your colleagues, when you go internationally in particular, you hear people saying that the attraction of here is the people and the skills. We need to ensure that we have sufficient skills. We used European funding for programmes to bring people into, and back into, the...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Economy: Apprenticeships (29 Apr 2024)

Conor Murphy: The Member correctly identifies that not only are those good jobs and good skills to have but that they are transferable, wherever you go. We are also now in a situation in which people cannot get apprentices or skilled workers, such as people with construction skills and a whole range of others. There is a greater sense from employers — we need to keep encouraging this — that they value...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Economy: Non-domestic RHI: Proposals (29 Apr 2024)

Conor Murphy: The Member will be aware that a previous Executive committed, as part of an agreement, to closing the RHI scheme. I have put forward proposals to the Executive to do just that. I hope that the Executive will deal with that in the not-too-distant future. We have a situation where the scheme is not delivering its intended outcomes in carbon reduction. As I said, there was an agreement among the...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Economy: Intertrade UK (29 Apr 2024)

Conor Murphy: Did you say "progressive"? [Laughter.] OK. Anyway, as I said in answer to Mr Beattie, it is an idea that was developed as a consequence of the Command Paper. It is not fully developed. In that paper, it was agreed by the British Government that it would be housed in Whitehall and would be the responsibility of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. We do not have a function...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Economy: Community Wealth Building (29 Apr 2024)

Conor Murphy: Community wealth building is an important piece in the delivery of my overall economic strategy and one that I am committed to strengthening. Community wealth building cuts across several areas of government and, in particular, connects with the work of the Department for Communities. I intend to work closely with DFC to address agreed recommendations outlined in its recent report by an...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Economy: Community Wealth Building (29 Apr 2024)

Conor Murphy: A pilot scheme is already up and running on community wealth building between Larne and Derry. It is for the north-west generally but is focused on Derry. We recognise that, when we talk about regional balance and addressing inequality, imbalance does not exist just outside Belfast and that there are areas in Belfast that suffer from inequalities that need to be addressed. Of course, when we...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Economy: Community Wealth Building (29 Apr 2024)

Conor Murphy: There are many good social economy projects in rural areas. As I said, we have resourced a three-year strategy for the social economy that, I expect, will not be confined to urban areas. The community wealth building pilot project to which I referred will bring us much good information on how that can be done. At the moment, the one linkage is between Larne and Derry, which is a good project,...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Economy: UEFA European Football Championship 2028 (29 Apr 2024)

Conor Murphy: Following a historic and successful joint bid, the five football associations across these islands are set to host the UEFA European Championships in 2028. In February, officials from my Department and the Department for Communities, alongside the Irish FA and the GAA, met a UEFA delegation in Belfast. Since then, there has been further engagement. Significant progress has been made,...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Economy: UEFA European Football Championship 2028 (29 Apr 2024)

Conor Murphy: I acknowledge what the Member says. At its initiation, Casement Park was a project to provide for Gaelic games in Ulster and further afield and to provide economic regeneration in that part of west Belfast and, I have no doubt, the whole of Belfast through the provision of a fantastic venue. The work is progressing well. The Ulster GAA council has commenced site clearance work, which is a...


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