29/01/2020

Other News In Brief

Coercive Control Legislation Welcomed

Women's Aid Northern Ireland has welcomed the news that legislation to criminalise coercive control will be brought through Stormont.

The charity said the region was left for "too long" without legislation to protect victims.

Justice Minister Naomi Long announced on Tuesday that she will forward plans to make it an offence for a person to engage in abusive behaviour, on two or more occasions, against someone they are personally connected to.

Over 30,000 incidents of domestic abuse were reported in 2018/19 as well as 16,182 crimes, the highest level since records began in 2004/05.

It's hoped the new legislation will offer better protections to victims.

A statement released by Women's Aid NI, which has long fought for the legislation, said: "We recognise and appreciate the Justice Minister's commitment to tackling domestic abuse and bringing an often hidden problem out in the open.

"Coercive control inflicts feelings of entrapment, isolation and degradation on victims and survivors, eroding their sense of autonomy and personhood. For too long Northern Ireland has been the only part of the UK and Ireland without legislation to criminalise this type of abuse. We are grateful that this will no longer be the case."

The spokesperson added: "It is critical that victims and survivors in Northern Ireland have the same, robust legal protections as the rest of the United Kingdom. We look forward to seeing the full draft Bill and working alongside the Department to ensure that the protections contained within meet the specific needs of victims and survivors moving forward."

Translink Invests In First Hydrogen Fuelled-Buses

Northern Ireland's public transport provider Translink has invested in its first fleet of hydrogen fuelled-buses.

The company struck a £4 million deal with Wrightbus for three of the environmentally friendly vehicles.

This represents Translink's first step towards investing in zero carbon technology, to combat climate change and improve air quality.
News Image
Local councillor Gregg McKeen has voiced his support of the deal, which will boost business for Wrightbus and manufacturing in Mid and East Antrim.

"I very much welcome the news that Translink are purchasing these hydrogen fuelled-buses from our local company, Wrightbus," Cllr McKeen said.

"The Wrightbus name has been renowned as a global leader in manufacturing and innovation, and this investment proves they are continuing to deliver results following challenging times.

"I would commend the efforts and commitment of those who bought this deal forward and secured this investment."

Call For £36m Funding To Redevelop Local Football Grounds

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has come under pressure to move forward with £36 million funding for the redevelopment of local football grounds across Northern Ireland.

The investment for local clubs was approved in 2011, but has remained stalled over the last three years due to the absence of an NI Executive.

Local UUP MLA Andy Allen MBE has called on Minister Hargey to provide clarity on projects like the 'Sub-Regional Stadia Programme for Soccer'.

"The fact that we now have a new Minister in place at the Department for Communities will give some cause for optimism that clubs will soon be able to access this much needed and long awaited funding to improve facilities and safety," Mr Allen said.

"I note that the new Minister, Deirdre Hargey – has expressed her determination to see the Casement Park project started 'at the earliest opportunity'.

"I also note that there has been a suggestion that a new consultation process may be required before the football funding cash can be released.

"If the Minister is determined to press ahead with supporting Casement at the earliest opportunity, then the Minister should be also be doing her utmost to deliver the £36 million promised to clubs in the original Sub-Regional Stadia Programme for Soccer, at the earliest opportunity.

"I therefore call on the Minister to urgently clarify what programmes within her Department require new consultations before funding can be released and in the process provide much needed clarity for those football clubs hoping to benefit from the Sub-Regional Stadia Programme for Soccer, also without delay."



(JG/CM)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

18 October 2010
Politicians Help 'Kick Hate Into Touch'
An innovative campaign, the 'Unite Against Hate' sporting weekend has been launched. Stormont First Minister Peter Robinson and his Junior Minister Gerry Kelly (pictured) joined forces to support the campaign which highlights all forms of hate crime and challenges people here to unite to stop it.
28 June 2011
First Minister Makes Lyrical Visit
First Minister Peter Robinson has visited the recently opened and fully refurbished Lyric Theatre, meeting the venue's chairman as well as a number of famous faces. The lyric is Northern Ireland’s only full-time theatre, producing plays and promoting local culture, employment, economic and community development.
16 December 2002
Extra budget allocation 'good news' for NI
The budget's funding package for both the arts and sport of over £30 million over the next three years has been hailed as "good news" by NIO Minister Angela Smith. The budget provision equates to a £15 million windfall for sport and £18 million for the arts in the province.
05 August 2013
Environment Minister Must Consider National Park - Lo
Alliance Environment spokesperson Anna Lo has called for newly-appointed Environment Minister Mark H Durkan to consider the option of establishing a national park in Northern Ireland. "I was very disappointed by the efforts of the former Environment Minister Alex Attwood to the establishment of a national park in Northern Ireland," Ms Lo said.
20 June 2013
Conference Announced To Promote Jobs In NI
First Minister the Rt. Hon. Peter D. Robinson MLA and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA have announced a major Investment Conference on 10 and 11 October 2013 to promote jobs and growth in Northern Ireland.