22 October 2013

Question Time: Culture, Arts and Leisure Monday 21 October 2013




The continuing success of Northern Ireland’s European super-bantamweight champion, Carl Frampton, coincided with a number of questions on the current state of boxing in the country during Question Time for Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Caral Ni Chuilin. In response to a topical question from David Hilditch, the Minister revealed that there had been a “huge uptake” to the tranche of funding made available to local boxing clubs.

During the scheduled rota of Oral Questions the Minister then provided Peter Weir with an update on the boxing strategy. The Minister revealed that, of the 60 plus boxing clubs in the country “the majority need capital support” and that she would not blame any parent taking a child to a club for the first time if they walked straight back out again. Ms Ni Chuilin reiterated her belief that we need to get behind the sport and make the investment required.

The Minister also provided an update on the current state of the library system. Amidst concern that some areas may not be able to access facilities in light of library closures, the Minister declared that, while exact figures are not available due to the outdated ELFNI computer system used by Libraries NI, “anecdotal evidence is that there is greater use of mobile services”. It is also hoped that the procurement and deployment of the E2 computer system in the coming year will provide the accurate and detailed statistics required to identify where services can be improved.

Ms Ni Chuilin also answered Members’ questions on the Ulster Canal, the NI Events Company and the City of Culture legacy plan.