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Muir – DETI are hiding their involvement in creationist exhibit at Giant’s Causeway

October 16, 2012 9:35 AM

NORTH DOWN: HOLYWOOD: Cllr Andrew MuirAlliance North Down Councillor Andrew Muir has said that the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment are trying to hide their involvement over the inclusion of a creationist exhibit at the Giant's Causeway visitor centre. Cllr Muir sent in a Freedom of Information request to the Department asking for any correspondence over the creationist exhibit.

In the information that was released to him, an email from an unknown official in the Department suggested that the inclusion of the creationist exhibit was a condition of the near £10 million that was given to the National Trust for the new visitor centre.

Cllr Andrew Muir said: "Whilst I am grateful that Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment have finally released the documents requested on 8 July 2012, I am disappointed information is so heavily redacted and strangely sparse. On the basis of the information provided some serious questions do however need to be answered by the Department.

"One of the released emails does suggest that under the current Minister, the Department of Enterprise tried to impose on the National Trust a requirement to include Creationism as a grant condition? Were any contractual obligations imposed upon the National Trust to meet the needs to creationist campaigners such as Caleb who openly admit to their DUP connections?

"Transparency and openness in relation to this issue is urgently required. I therefore call upon the Department to clarify without delay the role played by previous and current Enterprise Ministers in relation to inclusion of Creationism within the new Giants Causeway Centre.

"Organisations such as Caleb should not be given any undue influence on independent organisations such as the National Trust as a result of the political inclination of government Ministers. Religion and Politics must be kept separate. The place for creationist theories is in Church not tourist attractions such as the new Giants Causeway Visitors Centre.

"A further Freedom of Information request has now been submitted to the NI Tourist Board to find out exactly why creationism appeared at the Visitors Centre."

ENDS
The email dated 9 November 2009 states "I've amended draft to take on board NITB comment re National Trust unwillingness to accept Creationism to be included in the exhibition , as a grant condition. Are you content for submission to be submitted?

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