Was Northern Ireland COVID-19 testing at a rate 10 times Scotland’s?

UPDATE: On 19 May 2020, the following claim was revised by Guido Fawkes. We have published an addendum to our article.

CLAIM: Northern Ireland was testing for COVID-19 at a rate 10 times that of Scotland, reported on 9 May 2020.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. Northern Ireland’s test rate for the day of 8 May 2020 was about three-quarters (80%) that of Scotland.

On 11 May 2020, the blog website Guido Fawkes published an article, “How the four nations compare on Covid”, in which it claimed: “Using data from the regional public health authorities published on May 9, it would seem that Northern Ireland is way ahead of the other regions, it was testing at 10 times the rate of Scotland, which is testing at the lowest rate.”

Continue reading Was Northern Ireland COVID-19 testing at a rate 10 times Scotland’s?

Are these workers trapped by bollards they’ve installed outside a hospital in Belfast?

CLAIM: Workers have trapped their van inside bollards they are installing outside a hospital in Belfast.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. The building is an office block in Manchester, not a hospital in Belfast. And the bollards are removable.

Continue reading Are these workers trapped by bollards they’ve installed outside a hospital in Belfast?

Michael Davitt GAC offered as a coronavirus field hospital?

CLAIM: The grounds of the Michael Davitt GAC, in Swatragh, County Londonderry, have been offered as a coronavirus field hospital.

CONCLUSION: ACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. The Michael Davitt GAC has responded that while consultations are ongoing, no decision has been made or agreed with any other agency regarding the use of their grounds. Continue reading Michael Davitt GAC offered as a coronavirus field hospital?

Did only the Green Party support an EPA?

CLAIM: Only the Green Party supported a proposal to establish an environmental protection agency (EPA), as part of the review of public administration (local government) in Northern Ireland.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. During the Review of Public Administration (June 2002-March 2006), three political parties — Alliance, Green Party, and the SDLP — pledged support for an independent environmental protection agency. In the subsequent Review of Environmental Governance in Northern Ireland (February 2006-May 2007), Sinn Fein and the Ulster Unionist Party also expressed support. Continue reading Did only the Green Party support an EPA?

Are there more Orangemen than fluent Irish speakers?

CLAIM: There are more Orangemen than fluent Irish speakers in Northern Ireland.

CONCLUSION: UNSUBSTANTIATED. The 2017-18 Continuous Household Survey indicates there are an estimated 35,955 persons with conversational fluency of Irish, and the current Grand Secretary of the Orange Order has said that it has “around 40,000” members. However, the Order membership figure is unverifiable. Continue reading Are there more Orangemen than fluent Irish speakers?

Are there only DUP members in the House of Lords?

CLAIM: There are only DUP members (who are/were members of a Northern Ireland political party) in the House of Lords.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. There are at least 11 peers currently in the House of Lords who are, or were, members of a Northern Ireland political party. Four of those 11 are registered as DUP. Continue reading Are there only DUP members in the House of Lords?