Press Release

Townland Names an Important Part of Local Heritage

Session: 2008/2009

Date: Thursday, 12 March 2009

Reference: CAL 04/08/09

Townland names such as Cappagh Beg, Crossreagh East and Mullaghacall South are an important part of local heritage. That’s what the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure said at their meeting today in the Flowerfield Arts Centre in Portstewart.

The meeting, part of the Committee’s weekly meeting programme, discussed a research paper on townland names and considered responses from a number of councils on the issue.

Speaking after the meeting, Acting Committee Chairperson Raymond McCartney MLA said, “Townland names are a very important part of our history and local cultural heritage. It’s imperative that we do not loose this vital link with our past.

“I would urge Councils and departments to promote their use.”

The Committee also considered written evidence submitted for their inquiry into the funding of arts in Northern Ireland and discussed the Minister’s decision on the multi-sports stadium.

Commenting on the inquiry into funding for the arts, Acting Committee Chairperson Raymond McCartney MLA said, “We have a long and distinguished history of producing great arts and artists and we must continue to fund them. In the face of our present economic difficulties, the arts can and do play an important role in encouraging tourism and bringing people here.

“It is therefore vital that we get our arts funding right; that the funding contributes to a vibrant and inclusive arts scene—one that contributes to our economy and society as a whole.”

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 Department’s management of its arms length bodies
  • 2012 Olympics

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