Fighting a fire blindfolded? COVID-19 testing in Northern Ireland

Fighting a fire blindfolded? COVID-19 testing in Northern Ireland
by Jenny McENEANEY for FactCheckNI
8 April 2020

“You cannot fight a fire blindfolded… test, test, test.” That’s a summary of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidance to countries battling the global outbreak of COVID-19. Globally, there has been a variance in the rate of testing as countries battle to suppress and/or mitigate the spread of the virus. How does Northern Ireland fit into the global picture? How have we fared on testing to date and what is the target going forward? Continue reading Fighting a fire blindfolded? COVID-19 testing in Northern Ireland

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?

Is Northern Ireland without funded childcare provision?

CLAIM: Northern Ireland remains the only UK jurisdiction without funded childcare provision.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. The Northern Ireland Government funds the provision of pre-school education, which in the rest of the UK, Ireland, and wider Europe is defined as “Early Childhood Education and Care”. Residents of Northern Ireland are also eligible for some UK-wide childcare subsidy schemes. Continue reading Is Northern Ireland without funded childcare provision?

Lies and democracy: Who are the truth tellers?

Lies and democracy: Who are the truth tellers?
by Allan LEONARD for FactCheckNI
6 December 2019

As part of the annual general meeting of NICVA, the umbrella body of the voluntary and community sector in Northern Ireland, there was a panel discussion on the topics of truth, trust, and how everyone engages with a bombardment of information. Entitled, “Lies and Democracy: The Fight for the Truth”, BBC Radio Ulster presenter, Seamus McKee, moderated the discussion with panellists Amanda Ferguson, John Barry, and Orna Young. Continue reading Lies and democracy: Who are the truth tellers?