Northern Ireland news

Edwin Poots considers renaming Daera's Co Derry offices to mark Queen Elizabeth's platinum jubilee

Edwin Poots

DUP minister Edwin Poots is considering renaming his department's Co Derry offices to mark Queen Elizabeth's platinum jubilee.

According to reports, Ballykelly House near Limavady could be renamed Jubilee House.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs has declined to comment on the matter, citing 'purdah' rules for the assembly election campaign.

The DUP and Mr Poots also did not respond to requests for a comment.

It has been speculated that there could be a dispute over the proposed change with the Department of Finance, which is headed by Conor Murphy, Belfast Live reported.

The Sinn Féin minister's department also declined to comment due to next month's election.

However, a spokesperson for his party said Sinn Féin had no objections to the name change.

"The naming of Daera buildings is a matter for Daera," a party spokesperson said.

"Department of Finance has not opposed this and has no interest in legal action on this matter."

Ballykelly House, a £21 million facility opened 2018, is located on the former Shackleton Army Base close to the Lough Foyle shoreline.

Earlier this year the DUP accused Sinn Féin of failing to respect unionist culture after the finance department refused to allow a tree to be planted on the Stormont estate to mark the Queen's jubilee. Mr Murphy later announced plans to review the policy.

In 2016, Stormont's agriculture department was embroiled in a row over changing a boat's name from Irish to English.

The DUP's Michelle McIlveen, then agriculture minister, faced criticism when it emerged the patrol vessel's name 'Banríon Uladh' had been changed to its English translation 'Queen of Ulster'.

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