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?

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?

Thousands of tonnes of slurry for pork for China?

CLAIM: Thousands of tonnes of slurry are being spread on farmland, all due to exporting pork to China, according to Channel 4 News.

CONCLUSION: UNSUBSTANTIATED. The export of 1,450 pigs would represent 1,000 tonnes of slurry (based on an estimate of 957,495 tonnes p.a.). Tonnage figures for pork exports from Northern Ireland are unavailable. A secondary claim that “there’ll soon be as many pigs as people in Northern Ireland” is inaccurate; there were 633,600 pigs in 2018 and the mid-year 2018 population of Northern Ireland was 1,881,600. Continue reading Thousands of tonnes of slurry for pork for China?

Is a food bank feeding 1 in 5 in Enniskillen?

CLAIM: Food bank in Enniskillen now feeding 1 in 5 people in the town.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. A formula by Trussell Trust results in 1,079 delivered food bank parcels representing an estimated 540 unique users. This would represent 9.8%, or 1 in 10, of the population of Enniskillen town. Continue reading Is a food bank feeding 1 in 5 in Enniskillen?

Do 40% of Unionists support a potential Irish Sea trade border?

CLAIM: 40% of Unionists are happy about a potential trade border in the Irish Sea.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. 15% of unionists in a LucidTalk poll in August 2019 said there should be a “Northern Ireland specific backstop.” 81% of those declaring as unionists said there should not. Continue reading Do 40% of Unionists support a potential Irish Sea trade border?

Has the DUP brought an extra £1bn?

CLAIM: Arlene Foster, the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, said that the party delivered “an extra billion pounds” for Northern Ireland.

CONCLUSION: ACCURATE. The £1bn is specific to the jurisdiction of Northern Ireland and is in addition to funding pledged as a result of the Stormont House Agreement and Fresh Start Agreement. An estimated £420m remains to be spent. Continue reading Has the DUP brought an extra £1bn?