Was Irish spoken for the first time in the House of Commons?

CLAIM: The first time the Irish language was spoken in the House of Commons was 24 October 2018.

CONCLUSION: False. There is an official record (Hansard) of Irish spoken in the House of Commons, by Thomas O’Donnell MP, on 19 February 1901. Also, Mark Durkan MP spoke Irish in the House as recently as 17 January 2017.

Continue reading Was Irish spoken for the first time in the House of Commons?

Do Northern Ireland pets need passports for Ireland?

CLAIM: Pet owners travelling from Northern Ireland to Ireland require “EU pet passports”.

CONCLUSION: True. This includes your pet being marked by a transponder (microchip) and vaccinated against rabies. There are presently no border checks for pets (as official policy); however it is uncertain what regulations will apply post-Brexit. Continue reading Do Northern Ireland pets need passports for Ireland?

Are a third of CoI ministry candidates women?

CLAIM: A third of Church of Ireland ministry candidates are women.

CONCLUSION: Inaccurate. A quarter of CoI accepted and enrolled candidates are women. For the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, its figures of less than 4% female candidates are considerably lower than the phrase “don’t have nearly as many women as men” would suggest. For the Methodist Church in Ireland, a third of its candidates are women. Continue reading Are a third of CoI ministry candidates women?

Is Irish the only language banned in Northern Ireland courts?

CLAIM: Only the Irish language is banned in courts in Northern Ireland.

CONCLUSION: False. English is the working language of court proceedings in Northern Ireland; interpretation and translation services are provided for those who do not speak or understand English. Whether this policy is informed by the Penal Laws is currently contested. Continue reading Is Irish the only language banned in Northern Ireland courts?

Are there 100,000 adults in Northern Ireland with no home?

CLAIM: There are 100,000 adults in Northern Ireland who have no home.

CONCLUSION: Misleading headline from estimated data. The figure is based on estimations of incomplete data and does not distinguish between statutory and “potential hidden homeless”. The majority of the estimated latter represent non-dependent (adult) children living in the parental household. More accurate data may come from collection by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive or independent research. Continue reading Are there 100,000 adults in Northern Ireland with no home?