Dcal was only Stormont department not to propose any legislation during the mandate

Irish language campaigners take to the streets of Belfast in April 2014 to demand an Irish Language Act. Picture by Mal McCann

THE only executive department not to bring any bills to the assembly during the mandate was the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (Dcal).

Of the 62 executive-backed bills, the Department of Finance and Personnel sponsored most, with a total of 16 items of legislation.

Carál Ní Chuilín's department had hoped to finally move the long-delayed Irish Language Bill, however, despite Sinn Féin insisting it was a potential deal-breaker during the talks which led to the Stormont House agreement, the legislation remains elusive.

A spokesman for the Dcal said that, while the department had not proposed any legislation, it had met a number of targets in the Programme for Government, including hosting the World Police and Fire Games in 2013, promoting the creative industries and supporting Derry/Londonderry City of Culture 2013.

The spokesman also pointed to the Dcal's role in the development of stadiums for IFA, Ulster Rugby and GAA, though notably the latter has been dogged by controversy about safety concerns.

"Additionally preparatory work has been undertaken on a range of issues, including Proni (Public Records Office NI) statutory rules, while numerous public consultations, including one on proposals for an Irish Language Bill, have taken place," the Dcal spokesman said.

"A consultation exercise on sign language is ongoing and the department has also published strategies on culture and the arts and on the Irish and Ulster Scots languages."

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