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?

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 208 Ireland-Northern Ireland border crossings?

CLAIM: There are 208 border crossings between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

CONCLUSION: Unproven. It is extremely difficult to accurately establish the exact number of border crossings, as many informal routes have been established since border infrastructure was removed and many are on private land, but the official number of main routes so far identified by the Irish and Northern Ireland governments is 208. Continue reading Are there 208 Ireland-Northern Ireland border crossings?

How much do MLAs earn (or not)?

CLAIM: Progressive Politics NI claimed that MLAs were paid “nearly £2.2 million” in salaries up to 3rd September 2017.

CONCLUSION: Broadly accurate. The annual salary of an MLA is £49,500. For the period covered by the claim (13/3-13/9/2017), MLAs received a combined estimate of £2,333,188. Continue reading How much do MLAs earn (or not)?