Are there 40,000 third-level students in the northwest of Ireland?

CLAIM: There are 40,000 third-level students in northwest Ireland, with 7,000 graduates annually ready for employment.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. Available data shows 9,370 third-level students in northwest Ireland, with approximately 3,300 graduates a year in the region. The Ireland Northwest Trade & Investment mission may have included figures for Ulster University Coleraine, which is outside the geography covered by the partnership. Even so, the claim is a large overestimation. Continue reading Are there 40,000 third-level students in the northwest of Ireland?

Did DUP MPs vote against pay rises for nurses, firefighters, and police officers?

CLAIM: DUP MPs voted against a pay rise for nurses, firefighters, and police officers.

CONCLUSION: ACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION: On 28 June 2017, all 10 DUP MPs voted against an amendment on the Queen’s Speech, to end the public sector pay cap. On 13 September 2017, Ian Paisley MP spoke in favour of the passed motion to lift the pay cap in the NHS. However, as a result of the devolved Agenda for Change arrangement, the agreed pay awards do not automatically extend to NHS nurses in Northern Ireland. Continue reading Did DUP MPs vote against pay rises for nurses, firefighters, and police officers?

Are 2% of pregnancy terminations between 20 and 24 weeks?

CLAIM: About 2% of pregnancy terminations take place between 20 and 24 weeks.

CONCLUSION: ACCURATE. In 2018, 1.8% of all abortions in Great Britain took place at gestations of 20 weeks and over; 1.7% of all abortions in England and Wales took place at gestations of 20 to 24 weeks. Continue reading Are 2% of pregnancy terminations between 20 and 24 weeks?

Does Brexit deal mean no forms to access Great Britain?

CLAIM: The current negotiated deal for the UK leaving the EU outlines no forms, checks, or barriers of any kind for goods leaving Northern Ireland to Great Britain.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. While no customs export declaration forms would be required (as Northern Ireland will remain in a UK-wide customs area), exit summary declarations will be required to move goods between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. These declarations represent a new intervention, in addition to existing checks. Continue reading Does Brexit deal mean no forms to access Great Britain?

Do Northern Ireland arts need a 660% uplift in government funding?

CLAIM: Northern Ireland requires a 660% uplift in government expenditure to be equal to the European Union average of 2.2%

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. UK government expenditure on cultural services (measured by Eurostat) is just over half of the EU average. Within the UK, public expenditure in Northern Ireland is less than half than in Scotland, Wales, and England. However, Arts Matter Northern Ireland uses European statistics that reach beyond the arts, and make an invalid comparison between EU figures and public expenditure arts spend within the UK. Continue reading Do Northern Ireland arts need a 660% uplift in government funding?

Did 20,000 people participate in an anti-abortion march in Belfast?

CLAIM: 20,000 people marched for a pro-life event in Belfast on 7 September 2019.

CONCLUSION: UNSUBSTANTIATED. The figure provided by the event organiser cannot be substantiated. However, the accompanying rally event at Custom House Square could not have been attended by more than the venue capacity of 5,000 people. Continue reading Did 20,000 people participate in an anti-abortion march in Belfast?