Did you mean Edwin roots?
Edwin Poots: That is certainly my desire, and if there is any indication or evidence that that is not the case, those matters should be brought to my attention.
Edwin Poots: My Department is happy to work with those who bring forward proposals that meet the relevant criteria. I believe that that festival did so.
Edwin Poots: Consideration is being given to the transferral of Colmcille’s operations to Foras na Gaeilge. A judgement on whether the festival was value for money is one that Members may wish to make themselves on the basis of the information that they have heard.
Edwin Poots: No one has ever before brought that matter to my attention, or lobbied on it. Everything will be given due consideration if it is brought to my attention.
Edwin Poots: That would always be the case.
Edwin Poots: I thank the Member for that. The problem with starting a list of names is deciding where to stop. There are many great sporting people from Northern Ireland who have not been mentioned today but would have been worthy of mention. I do have the support of the Executive for the draft strategy.
Edwin Poots: I can assure the House that at no time during any talks was the DUP consulted on an Irish language Bill or legislation. If the Member cares to read the Northern Ireland (St Andrews Agreement) Act 2006, he will find that there is no reference to proposals for Irish language legislation.
Edwin Poots: Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. Is it in order for the Member to challenge rulings of the Speaker?
Edwin Poots: Where is he?
Edwin Poots: I will look into the matter. The Member’s first point related to an individual, and I understand that there is an ongoing case involved. Therefore, it would be inappropriate to comment on the matter in the House until the case is finalised.
Edwin Poots: On that occasion, the Minister observed all the relevant protocols, gave the requisite notice to both the Assembly and the Committee, and, prior to his statement, based his conclusions on the Committee’s written responses.
Edwin Poots: If the Member scrutinises all the documents that were released on that day, he will see, in the Budget papers, that the requisite funding has been set aside for the sports stadium.
Edwin Poots: I have held discussions with BBC Northern Ireland and the Loyal Orders on a wide range of issues, including cultural programming. The particular matter that the Member mentioned has not been raised.
Edwin Poots: That issue has been discussed with the Committee for Culture, Arts, and Leisure and it is something of which I am very cognisant. I trust that it will be reflected in the final legislation.
Edwin Poots: Locations were in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. I shall be happy provide the information in writing.
Edwin Poots: I am not aware of the Northern Ireland Events Company having taken out any loans. That is not to say that that is not the case, however. I will seek to ascertain the facts and inform the Member in writing.
Edwin Poots: Will the Member give way?
Edwin Poots: Festivals that were perceived as being nationalist festivals, based on the community-background designation on funding application forms, received £120,242. Festivals that were perceived as cross-community in character received funding of £113,015. Festivals that were perceived as unionist in character received funding of £45,150. Indian festivals received funding of £5,000, and Turkish...
Edwin Poots: One can never rule out the closure of facilities. I am confident, however, that over the period of the strategy, new facilities will be opened and others will be enhanced. Within the budget that has been allocated, we can have an improvement in the sporting infrastructure.
Edwin Poots: Sport Northern Ireland is responsible for the distribution of grant aid to sport in Northern Ireland. It will be able to continue to invest in development programmes for non-Olympic sports clubs through a combination of lottery and Exchequer funding.