Are 75% of non-voters in Northern Ireland pro-Union?

CLAIM: Three-quarters of non-voters in Northern Ireland are pro-Union.

CONCLUSION: ACCURATE. The claim that three-quarters of non-voters in Northern Ireland are pro-Union is based on evidence from a research survey commissioned on behalf of the University of Liverpool. It found that 76.9% of respondents who are non-voters who stated a constitutional preference chose “to remain part of the UK”.  FactCheckNI has not found evidence of other surveys recording constitutional preferences of non-voters, but future surveys may provide more information about this cohort. Continue reading Are 75% of non-voters in Northern Ireland pro-Union?

Must the next electoral canvass be done by 2023?

CLAIM: The next electoral canvass in Northern Ireland must be completed before 2023, ten years after the 2013 canvass.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. Legislation lists the years in which a canvass must be completed. It is specific that a canvass is due in 2021, with the subsequent one in 2030 and then every following ten years unless the Act is amended. An ad hoc canvass in intervening years does not reset the need for these end of decade canvasses. Continue reading Must the next electoral canvass be done by 2023?

Was British Army General Robert Ross the last man to attack the US Capitol?

CLAIM: The last man to attack the US Capitol, prior to the events on 6 January 2021, was a British Army Major General from Northern Ireland, in 1814.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. Since the burning of the US Capitol in August 1814, during the War of 1812, there have been four notable further attacks before this year’s incident: Erich Muenter exploded three sticks of dynamite in the US Senate reception room (1915); Puerto Rican nationalists opened fire from the US House of Representatives visitors’ gallery (1954); the Weather Underground group exploded a bomb (1971); and seven people were arrested for causing an explosion in the US Senate (1983). Continue reading Was British Army General Robert Ross the last man to attack the US Capitol?

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?