Sunday, 31 July 2016

Hamilton congratulates Ryan Fox on NI Open win

Economy Minister, Simon Hamilton has congratulated Ryan Fox on winning the Northern Ireland Open.

Speaking after the winner’s presentation Minister Hamilton said: “I would like to congratulate Ryan Fox on his magnificent achievement in winning the Tayto Northern Ireland Open.

 “The event, hosted by the Galgorm Castle Golf Club, has been an outstanding success. I want to commend everyone involved in organising the tournament and associated food festival.”

Minister Hamilton added: “Tourism Northern Ireland's investment in this European Challenge Tour event further helps boost our golfing profile. The number of spectators here are increasing year on year bringing economic benefits to both Ballymena and the wider region. ”

The Minister concluded: “Tourism is an essential part of the Northern Ireland economy and my aim is to continue to develop the industry with golf tourism playing a major part in achieving this objective. The successes of our home-grown players, the top quality courses and the delivery of a superb championship like the Tayto Northern Ireland Open clearly demonstrates our superb golf offering and help to boost worldwide profile of Northern Ireland.

 “With 2016 being the Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink the food festival has been a great opportunity to showcase the quality of the local artisan produce available on our doorstep whilst helping visitors sample some of our world renowned hospitality on an international stage. Our excellence in food and drink production was highlighted once again this week with our outstanding results in the prestigious UK Great Taste Awards. Thirteen local products from eight companies were awarded the highest accolade of three gold stars for their products with 84 local companies securing almost 303 gold stars in total. Food tourism generates over £350 million per year to the local economy and there is significant room for further growth in this area.”

Further information on the Northern Ireland Open can be found at: 

Notes to editors:

1. The NI Open ran from Thursday 28 July to Sunday 31 July.
2. For press enquiries please contact DfE Press Office on tel: 028 9052 9604. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.
 3. Follow us on Twitter @Economy_NI

Foster and McGuinness congratulate Frampton on his big night in the "Big Apple"

First Minister, Arlene Foster and the deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness have congratulated world boxing champion Carl Frampton on his victory in New York last night.

The Ministers said: "We congratulate Carl Frampton on another night of sporting success. 

"Carl has proven once again he is a true champion and last night showed incredible grit, heart and skill against a formidable opponent. 

"His relentless determination and incredible sacrifice to be the best he possibly can be has now deservedly made him champion at two different weight classes. 

"Carl deserves this well earned success and we extend our congratulations to his wife Christine and his extended family. 

"We congratulate his manager Barry McGuigan and trainer Shane McGuigan for the role they have played in helping shape Carl's path to success and stardom."

Notes to Editors:

Media enquiries to The Executive Office press office on 028 9037 8201. Out of office hours, please contact the duty press office via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.

Givan: Congratulations to Carl Frampton

Sports Minister Paul Givan, MLA has congratulated boxer Carl Frampton on his win against Leo Santa Cruz in New York City.

Carl Frampton is now the WBA world featherweight champion after defeating Santa Cruz late on Saturday night.

The Minister said: “Carl Frampton is now Northern Ireland’s first world boxing champion at two different weights – super bantamweight and now featherweight. This is a great achievement for Carl and for Northern Ireland.  

“For our country to again ‘punch above its weight’ in sport is a great credit to all our sports men and women.  Sport is a fantastic way of bringing people together and Carl and the rest of our sports people are role models to so many.

“With the Olympics and Paralympics in Rio coming up, this will be another opportunity for our home grown athletes to shine.  I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the athletes going to Rio best wishes for success.

“Finally, many congratulations to Carl and his team on becoming the WBA featherweight champion of the world.”

Notes to editors:

1. Follow us on Twitter - @CommunitesNI
    2. For media enquiries please contact the Department for Communities Press Office 028 9082 9267 or email For out of hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Fearon celebrates diversity and promotes inclusion at Big Pride Family Day


The LGBT community should not just be tolerated but fully accepted in all aspects of society.


That was the message from Junior Minister Megan Fearon who today attended the Big Pride Picnic Family Day in the grounds of Belfast City Hall.


Junior Minister Fearon said:  “The Big Pride Picnic Family Day celebrates and raises awareness of LGBT families in Belfast.  It provides a fun, enjoyable and safe space for them to come together and promotes their inclusion as full and valued citizens of Belfast. 


“Today we see families enjoying a great day out where diversity is rightly respected, equality is promoted and differences celebrated. Tolerance is not enough and events like this demonstrate just how far we have come to bring this important community to the heart of Belfast.” 


The Minister met with families and groups attending the event and joined them in an afternoon of fun, food, celebration and entertainment.  


Junior Minister Fearon added:  “I commend Belfast City Council on its support for this event and also the partner agencies who have contributed to making the Big Pride Picnic Family Day such a great success, including the Here NI / Rainbow Family Project and Cara-Friend.”  


The Big Pride Picnic is one of the key events of the Belfast Pride Festival, Ireland’s biggest LGBT festival which attracts audiences of up to 50,000 each summer.  Now in its 26th year, Belfast Pride Festival takes place until 7 August 2016 with a full programme of events, including lectures, exhibitions and performing arts. The Picnic was supported by Belfast City Council, Libraries NI and PSNI Community Engagement.


Notes to editors:


  1. Media enquiries to The Executive Office press office on 028 9037 8201. Out of office hours, please contact the duty press office via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.




Friday, 29 July 2016

Coastal change – an issue for all of us – McIlveen

Coastal erosion is an issue for the whole Northern Ireland coastline and it is important that communities and agencies work together to help manage it.

Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Michelle McIlveen set out the position as she addressed a meeting of the Ards Peninsula Coastal Erosion Group in Bangor.

Speaking after the event, the Minister said: “Coastal erosion is a major issue not only for the Ards Peninsula, but also for the whole Northern Ireland coastline. I understand entirely the difficulties and frustrations faced by people when it comes to dealing with the consequences of coastal erosion.

“Coastal change cannot be stopped, nor would we want it to be, as this is how our beaches are replenished.  Beaches themselves act as a natural defence.  So this isn’t a question of beating coastal erosion – that’s simply not possible – nor would it be desirable around many parts of our coast.

“Instead, the challenge is to find the best way of managing coastal change, both erosion and flooding. It’s about understanding how we want the Northern Ireland coastline to be shaped both now and in the future.

“I am therefore committed to doing whatever I can as Minister to ensure that the Executive deals with this issue more strategically in future.

“This is no simple task and requires input and co-operation across a range of statutory agencies, as well as from local communities. This is why when I was Minister in the former Department for Regional Development, I established a dedicated Coastal Forum to bring together the relevant bodies and take a more strategic approach to coastal management.

“I will be engaging with my Executive colleague, the Minister for Infrastructure Chris Hazzard, to discuss how we best take this issue forward.

“I thank everyone from all of the agencies who took part today: Transport NI; Ards and North Down Borough Council; Newry, Mourne and Down District Council; the National Trust; and the Ards Peninsula Coastal Erosion Group. I am heartened by the spirit of co-operation and collaboration which will provide a good platform on which to improve how we manage coastal change in the future.”

Notes to editors

1. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or email DAERA Press Office: Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.

2. Follow us on Twitter @daera_ni

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Foster, McGuinness and Sugden call for a peaceful, respectful and safe parading season

First Minister, Arlene Foster, deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness and Justice Minister, Claire Sugden have called for a peaceful, respectful and safe parading season.

The Ministers said: "The celebration of different memories, cultures and traditions in a respectful, dignified and peaceful manner has the potential to enrich our society. Equally, some may wish to protest and it is essential this is done in a way that is peaceful and does not undermine law and order.

"As we move into a period which has in the past resulted in heightened tensions, we encourage everyone to conduct themselves in a dignified and lawful way.

"We all have a responsibility to show leadership and to continue to seek resolutions to contentious issues through discussion and ensure any difficulties are identified and resolved peacefully thus showing respect for the views and wishes of everyone in the community.

"We want to build a future that is respectful, inclusive and vibrant. Dialogue and engagement are key to ensuring mutual understanding and co-operation, and we welcome the ongoing commitment of all involved to maintaining a peaceful and safe society.

"Regardless of background we wish everyone a peaceful and enjoyable bank holiday."