Sunday, 10 February 2013

Sports Minister congratulates Frampton-Pride of Belfast

Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has congratulated Carl Frampton on winning the European super-bantamweight title.
Frampton stopped Kiko Martinez in the ninth round at the Odyssey Arena to take the title.

Minister Ní Chuilín said "This was another tremendous night for Irish boxing and Belfast.

"We keep turning out boxers who can compete with the best in the world. It is only a matter of time before Carl Frampton fights for a world title. His performance last night shows that he has what it takes to be our next world champion."

The Minister also congratulated all the other local boxers who fought their way to victory at the Odyssey Arena last night.

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Saturday, 9 February 2013

Robinson and McGuinness express sympathy at death of police officer

First Minister Rt. Hon Peter D Robinson MLA and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA have expressed their sympathy at the death of a Police Officer in Derry/Londonderry last night.

The Police Constable died when the police car she was travelling in was struck by a stolen vehicle in the early hours of this morning.

Two other police officers were also injured in the crash and are receiving treatment in hospital.

The Ministers said: "This is devastating news and we want to extend our heartfelt sympathies to the Police Officer's family, friends and colleagues.

"We wish her two police officer colleagues a speedy and full recovery.

"Officers in the PSNI put their lives at risk on a daily basis to serve and protect our community and we are all truly grateful for their dedicated service. 

"Those who commit a crime such as vehicle theft must realise their actions can have serious consequences. We urge anyone with information to go to the police.”

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

We are supporting Safer Internet Day 2013

Safer Internet Day is celebrating its tenth year of promoting safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially among children and young people.

The #SID2013 message for this year is 'Connect with Respect', which aims to encourage children, young people, parents, teachers and the internet industry to really think about their online rights and responsibilities and how they can help make the internet safe for everyone.

Take the #SID2013 quiz to find out how you 'connect with respect' and then watch short video below.

Online rights and responsibilities

In honour of the tenth anniversary children and young people across the UK have worked in partnership with the UK Safe Internet Centre to develop a charter of "ten online rights and responsibilities". The charter is a result of a survey completed by over 20,000 children and young people.

Children and young people ranging in age from 7 - 11 (Primary School Charter) and 11- 19 years old (Secondary School Charter) voted on what they thought were the most important rights and responsibilities they had when online.

Top ten online rights and responsibilities voted for by primary school age children (7-11 year olds)

View the larger version here

I should feel safe
I should not be bullied
I should be able to tell someone if...

Top ten online rights and responsibilities voted for by secondary school age children (11-19 year olds)

View a larger version here

I should feel safe
I should be able to manage who can see the content I post online
I should be educated about staying safe online

For more information on the Top Ten Rights and Responsibilities charters and the full report on the 'Have Your Say' survey please visit the #SID2013 website.

You can join the discussion about safer internet on twitter using #SID2013 or visit SID2013 facebook 

Monday, 4 February 2013

McCausland clarifies position on new tenancy deposit scheme

Housing Minister Nelson McCausland today expressed his disappointment at the criticism levelled at the new Tenancy Deposit Scheme by Social Development Committee member, Michael Copeland. 

The Minister said: "Today I have been pleased to announce that, from April, tenants across Northern Ireland are being given the same protections as those living in England. Tenants will now be sure that they can get their tenancy deposit back if they are entitled to it. 

“These Regulations had the full backing of all MLAs. Assembly approval was given in September 2012. I am surprised at Michael Copeland's remarks today especially since he voted for the scheme in the Assembly less than five months ago. Mr Copeland should know that due process needs to be followed when introducing new laws and my department worked to bring in this legislation very quickly while ensuring that a workable scheme would be delivered at the end of it. 

"Mr Copeland is mistaken in saying my Department failed to communicate with housing providers; there was in fact considerable consultation with stakeholders including landlords. Has he considered whether some of the complaints made by landlords today could be an attempt to protect their vested interests? 

"As Housing Minister I have to deliver the best for all of the people living here. It is beyond me why Mr Copeland wants to make a bad news story out of this. It is shocking that Mr Copeland today criticises a scheme that he had the chance to shape in the Assembly; the same Assembly where he actually welcomed it. 

"What I have announced today is good news for Northern Ireland tenants, and these new procedures will protect both landlords and tenants and improve the image of the private rented sector making it a more viable housing option."