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Sports: Northern Ireland

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 18th October 2018.

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Photo of Gavin Robinson Gavin Robinson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what guidance he provides to Sport GB on national representation relating to obligations under the Good Friday Agreement.

Photo of Tracey Crouch Tracey Crouch The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Sporting matters are devolved, and eligibility and selection for international competition remain matters for the relevant sports authorities. However, sporting organisations have an important role to play in contributing to inclusion in Northern Ireland and across the United Kingdom. The people of Northern Ireland have a proud history of sporting achievements gained while representing both the United Kingdom and Ireland.

As outlined in the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement, both the UK Government and UK Sport recognise the birthright of all the people of Northern Ireland to identify themselves and be accepted as Irish or British, or both, as they may so choose, and accordingly confirm that their right to hold both British and Irish citizenship is accepted by both Governments and would not be affected by any future change in the status of Northern Ireland. This right extends to athletes from Northern Ireland having the choice to represent Team GB or Ireland at a national level in their given sport should they wish to do so. At times this will be subject to the overarching rules applied by the individual Governing bodies of the sport.

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