Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (Northern Ireland)
|Formed||1 December 1999|
|Dissolved||5 May 2016|
|Headquarters||Causeway Exchange, Bedford Street, Belfast, BT2 7EG|
|Employees||269 (September 2011)|
|Annual budget||£112.1 million (current) & £16.3 million (capital) for 2011–12|
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL), translated in Irish as An Roinn Cultúir, Ealaíon agus Fóillíochta and in Ulster-Scots as Männystrie o Fowkgates, Airts an Aisedom, was a devolved government department in the Northern Ireland Executive. The minister with overall responsibility for the department was the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure.
After the election to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2016, the DCAL was closed and its roles and functions were amalgamated with other departments in order to reduce the size of the Northern Ireland Executive.
DCAL's overall vision is a "confident, creative, informed and healthy society". It describes its mission as delivering economic growth and enhancing the quality of life in Northern Ireland by "unlocking the full potential of the culture, arts and leisure sectors."
The department had the following main responsibilities:
- the arts;
- cultural diversity;
- inland waterways;
- the distribution of National Lottery funding;
- the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI); and
DCAL's main counterparts in the United Kingdom Government were:
- the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS);
- the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (on inland fisheries); and
- the National Archives (on public records).
Its main counterparts in the Irish Government were:
- the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (on the Irish language);
- the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (on public libraries);
- the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport;
- the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (on inland fisheries).
Following a referendum on the Belfast Agreement on 23 May 1998 and the granting of royal assent to the Northern Ireland Act 1998 on 19 November 1998, a Northern Ireland Assembly and Northern Ireland Executive were established by the United Kingdom Government under Prime Minister Tony Blair. The process was known as devolution and was set up to return devolved legislative powers to Northern Ireland. DCAL was one of five new devolved Northern Ireland departments created in December 1999 by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and the Departments (Northern Ireland) Order 1999.
A devolved minister first took office on 2 December 1999. Devolution was suspended for four periods, during which the department came under the responsibility of direct rule ministers from the Northern Ireland Office:
- between 12 February 2000 and 30 May 2000;
- on 11 August 2001;
- on 22 September 2001;
- between 15 October 2002 and 8 May 2007.
Since 8 May 2007, devolution has operated without interruption.
Under the St Andrews Agreement (signed 13 October 2006), the Executive is obliged to adopt strategies on enhancing and protecting the development of the Irish language and enhancing and developing Ulster Scots language, heritage and culture. The agreement also committed the United Kingdom Government to introducing "an Irish Language Act reflecting on the experience of Wales and Ireland". Welsh and Irish are official languages in those respective countries.
Language policy was devolved, alongside the department's other responsibilities, on 8 May 2007. As of March 2012, neither an Irish language strategy or act, nor an Ulster Scots strategy, had been adopted. The department stated that a Strategy for Indigenous or Regional Minority Languages "will be presented to the Executive in due course".
Ministers of Culture, Arts and Leisure
|Minister||Image||Party||Took office||Left office|
|Michael McGimpsey||UUP||2 December 1999||11 February 2000|
|Michael McGimpsey||UUP||30 May 2000||14 October 2002|
|Edwin Poots||DUP||8 May 2007||9 June 2008|
|Gregory Campbell||DUP||9 June 2008||1 July 2009|
|Nelson McCausland||DUP||1 July 2009||5 May 2011|
|Carál Ní Chuilín||Sinn Féin||16 May 2011||5 May 2016|
Direct rule ministers
- George Howarth MP (2000)
- Angela Smith MP (2002–2005)
- David Hanson MP (2005–2006)
- Maria Eagle MP (2006–2007)
- Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure (Northern Ireland Assembly)
- List of government ministers in Northern Ireland
- "Northern Ireland Quarterly Employment Survey Historical Data". Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
- "Budget 2011–15" (PDF). Department of Finance and Personnel. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
- Männystrie o Fowkgates, Airts an Aisedom is the name used by the Department itself, although other variants, like the Depairtment o Cultur, Airts an Leisur, are also in use.
- Northern Ireland Budget 2011–15, page 44
- http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/index/work-of-the-executive/ministers-and-their-departments.htm Northern Ireland Executive
- Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure. "Site construction begins for the new PRONI Headquarters". Northern Ireland Executive. Retrieved 18 June 2011.
- Northern Ireland Act 1998, Schedule 3
- DCMS: About us
- Defra: Marine and freshwater fisheries
- The National Archives: How we are run
- Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht: Welcome
- Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government: Public Libraries
- Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport: About Us
- Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources: Inland Fisheries Division
- Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Commencement) Order 2000
- Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) Order 2000
- Article 1, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Suspension of Devolved Government) Order 2001
- Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) Order 2001
- Article 1, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Suspension of Devolved Government) (No.2) Order 2001
- Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) (No.2) Order 2001
- Article 1, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Suspension of Devolved Government) Order 2002
- Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) Order 2007
- Section 28D, Northern Ireland Act 1998
- Section 28E, Northern Ireland Act 1998
- "Human Rights, Equality, Victims and Other Issues". St Andrews Agreement (PDF). 2006. p. 11. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
- "Language/Cultural Diversity". Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- Office suspended for 24 hours on 11 August 2001 and 22 September 2001