Press Release

Culture, Arts and Leisure Committee Visit Omagh

Session: 2008/2009

Date: Thursday, 29 January 2009

Reference: CAL10/08/09

The Assembly’s Statutory Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure visited Omagh on Thursday 29 January 2009.

The Committee held its regular weekly meeting at the Ulster American Folk Park, before doing a tour of the Folk Park. In particular, the Committee looked at the site which has been set aside for the re-building of the McCallister House. This house, which was originally located in West Virginia and built in 1827, will be restored over the coming months.

The Committee then visited the Strule Arts Centre in Omagh town centre.

Mr Barry McElduff MLA, the Committee Chairperson said:

“The Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure welcomed the opportunity to visit Omagh, the County town of Tyrone and to hold our meeting in the unique surroundings of the Ulster American Folk Park.”

“The Folk Park is an exceptional facility, and it is not surprising that it was named ‘Visitor Attraction of the Year’ at the 2008 Northern Ireland Tourism Awards. This is something of which I am particularly proud. I say this in a personal capacity and as MLA for the West Tyrone Constituency.”

“In the last year alone, 165,000 people passed through the gates of the Ulster American Folk Park – the highest number in its 30-year history”.

“We also enjoyed our visit to the Strule Arts Centre. “This Arts Centre is a state-of-the-art building of considerable architectural importance which provides opportunities for people to showcase their artistic talent, both to the people of Tyrone and the North West in general.”


Notes to Editors:

The Chairperson of the Committee is Mr Barry McElduff MLA. 
The Deputy Chairperson is Mr David McNarry MLA

The Committee has a further nine members:

Mr Dominic Bradley MLA 
Mr Francie Brolly MLA 
The Lord Browne MLA 
Mr Kieran McCarthy MLA 
Mr Raymond McCartney MLA 
Mr Nelson McCausland MLA 
Mr Pat Ramsey MLA 
Mr Ken Robinson MLA 
Mr Jim Shannon MLA

The Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure is a Statutory Departmental Committee which has a scrutiny, policy development and consultation role with respect to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure and has a role in the initiation of legislation.

The Committee has the power to:

  • consider and advise on Departmental budgets and annual plans in the context of the overall budget allocation;
  • approve relevant secondary legislation and take the Committee Stage of primary legislation;
  • call for persons and papers;
  • initiate inquiries and make reports; and
  • consider and advise on matters brought to the Committee by the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

The Committee’s is currently considering the following key issues as part of its forward work programme:

  • An inquiry into the funding of the arts in Northern Ireland
  • Safety at sports grounds
  • The Northern Ireland Events Company
  • 2012 Olympics

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