Other News In Brief

Man Convicted Of Benefit Fraud

A man has been convicted or claiming benefits he was not entitled to at Omagh Magistrates' Court.

David Sproule claimed Disability Living Allowance totalling £4,470 while failing to declare employment. He was given a 12 month conditional discharge.

He is also required to repay any outstanding money wrongfully obtained to the Department for Communities.

Exploris Aquarium To Hold 'Quiet Times' For Disabled Children And Adults

Exploris Aquarium in Portaferry, Co Down, has confirmed it is to hold 'quiet times' for disabled children and adults every week.

The move will see special provision given every Thursday between 4pm-6pm for those with conditions such as autism, AD/HD, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and others to enjoy the tourist attraction in quieter surroundings while being closed to the general public.

Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong welcomed the move.

She said: "Not every child or adult with disabilities enjoy the hustle and bustle of a building when there are a lot of other people there. But this will see quieter sessions more focused on those with different needs.

"It's not often businesses, particularly tourist companies, ensure children and adults with disabilities are included and able to fully experience everything everyone else can. But my thanks and praise goes to Exploris for taking my concerns onboard and announcing this move."

£700,000 Secured To Develop And Upgrade Community Buildings In NI
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A total of £700,000 has been secured to develop and upgrade community buildings in the Fermanagh, Strabane, Omagh and Limavady areas in Northern Ireland.

Funded by the Northern Ireland Executive's Social Investment Fund, the Community Premises Support project will provide financial assistance to voluntary groups of up to £20,000.

Speaking at the launch of the project at the Strule Arts Centre, Omagh the First Minister Arlene Foster said: "I very much welcome the launch of the Social Investment Fund Community Premises Project which means that over £700,000 is now available across the council areas of Omagh, Fermanagh, Strabane and Limavady to improve and upgrade buildings used to provide services for local communities.

"Today's announcement is tangible evidence of the Executive being able to deliver improved facilities for local people West of the Bann in the very near future and means that community organisations will have the opportunity to become self-sustaining, giving them more scope to provide a wider range of activities."

NI's Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir said: "The Executive is committed to supporting rural communities through the Community Premises Support project and the capital projects committed to date will improve over 100 premises including the 26 that this project will deliver."

Sinn Féin MLA Declan McAleer said: "This Community Premises Support project will provide voluntary groups with up to £20,000 to help develop or upgrade community facilities in these areas.

"It is funded by the Executive's Social Investment Fund and is further proof of the genuine positive improvement locally elected ministers are making to our communities."


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