Department of Agriculture and Rural Development


Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
Northern Ireland

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Politics and government of
Northern Ireland



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The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) (Irish: An Roinn Talmhaíochta agus Forbartha Tuaithe, Ulster Scots: Männystrie o Fairms an Kintra Fordèrin or Depairtment o Agricultur an Laundart Oncum[1]) is a devolved Northern Ireland government department in the Northern Ireland Executive. The minister with overall responsibility for the department is the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Contents

Aim

DARD’s official vision is of a “thriving and sustainable rural community and environment”. It has five stated objectives: to help the agri-food industry prepare for future market opportunities and economic challenges; to promote the economic and social well-being and self-reliance of the rural community; to enhance animal, fish and plant health and welfare; to help deliver improved sustainable environmental outcomes; and to manage its business and deliver services to customers in a cost-effective way. [2]

The incumbent Minister is Michelle O'Neill (Sinn Féin).[3]

Responsibilities

DARD has responsibility for the following areas of policy:[4]

  • agriculture
  • rural development
  • food
  • agri-environmental policy
  • sea fisheries
  • flood risk management [5]
  • forestry [6]
  • animal health and welfare
  • administration of Defra support schemes
  • application of EU Common Agricultural Policy
  • application of EU rural development policy

DARD’s main counterpart in the United Kingdom Government is the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) [7]. Its main counterpart in the Irish Government is the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine [8].

History

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. DARD is one of 11 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 [9] and 30 May 2000[10];
  • on 11 August 2001 [11][12];
  • on 22 September 2001 [13][14];
  • between 15 October 2002[15] and 8 May 2007[16].

Since 8 May 2007, devolution has operated without interruption.

Ministers of Agriculture and Rural Development

Minister Party Took office Left office
    Bríd Rodgers SDLP 2 December 1999 11 February 2000
Office suspended
    Bríd Rodgers SDLP 30 May 2000 14 October 2002[17]
Office suspended
    Michelle Gildernew Sinn Féin 8 May 2007 5 May 2011
    Michelle O'Neill Sinn Féin 5 May 2011

Direct rule ministers

During the periods of suspension, the following ministers of the Northern Ireland Office were responsible for the department:

  • ? (2000)
  •  ? (2002-?)
  • Lord Rooker (?-06)
  • David Cairns (2006–07)

See also

References

  1. ^ North-South Ministerial Council: 2010 Annual Report in Ulster Scots
  2. ^ Northern Ireland Budget 2011-15, page 36
  3. ^ http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/index/work-of-the-executive/ministers-and-their-departments.htm Northern Ireland Executive
  4. ^ http://www.dardni.gov.uk/index/about-dard/dard-responsibilities.htm Responsibilities of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
  5. ^ Rivers Agency
  6. ^ Forest Service
  7. ^ About Defra
  8. ^ Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine: About us
  9. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Commencement) Order 2000
  10. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) Order 2000
  11. ^ Article 1, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Suspension of Devolved Government) Order 2001
  12. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) Order 2001
  13. ^ Article 1, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Suspension of Devolved Government) (No.2) Order 2001
  14. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) (No.2) Order 2001
  15. ^ Article 1, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Suspension of Devolved Government) Order 2002
  16. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) Order 2007
  17. ^ Office suspended for 24 hours on 11 August 2001 and 22 September 2001

External links



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