DAERA will have a vital role in supporting our economy and protecting our environment, says McIlveen

Date published: 27 May 2016


The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) will play an important role in promoting Northern Ireland’s agri-food and fisheries industries and in protecting its environment, said newly-appointed Minister, Michelle McIlveen.

Michelle McIlveen MLA

Welcoming her new role, Miss McIlveen said: “The new Department has wide ranging responsibilities which impact all our citizens. I am very much looking forward to the challenges and opportunities it will bring.

“I want to ensure that DAERA helps to strengthen Northern Ireland’s economy by sustainably growing our agri-food and fisheries industries. We must capitalise and deliver on the significant opportunities offered through initiatives such as 'Going for Growth' and the 'Year of Food and Drink 2016'.”

The Minister went on to say: “I am aware of the significant challenges that face our agri-food industry and will give full attention to addressing these difficulties. I will also work with the Economy Minister Simon Hamilton to help open new market opportunities for our local industry." 

The Minister added: “The creation of DAERA and the new Assembly mandate also provide the opportunity to address challenges around the protection and improvement of our natural environment, and in the years ahead, we must enhance water quality, conserve habitats and species, and support improvements in recycling and resource management.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. Michelle McIIveen is Assembly Member for Strangford. She was re-elected to the NI Assembly in May 2016, having served previous terms from 2007-2011 and 2011-2014.  She was previously a Junior Minister in the Office of First and Deputy First Minister before taking up the post of Minister in the former Department of Regional Development. She was also a previous Chair of the Assembly’s Culture, Arts and Leisure and Education Committees.
  2. Miss McIlveen was educated at Methodist College Belfast and graduated from Queen's University with a Masters in Irish Politics and a Certificate in Education.  She is a former teacher of history and politics, and worked as a business manager in the family business.
  3. The new Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) came into effect on May 8. The functions of the new department include:
    • most of the roles and responsibilities of the former Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), excluding Rivers Agency which transfers to the Department for Infrastructure;
    • inland fisheries from the former Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL);
    • environmental functions from the former Department of Environment (DOE),
    • and policy responsibility for the Sustainable Strategy from OFMDFM (now the Executive Office).
  4. The changes are all part of the Fresh Start agreement which involves restructuring the Northern Ireland government departments and reducing them in number from 12 to nine.
  5. For further details on the functions and responsibilities of the DAERA, go to https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/news/functions-new-department-agriculture-environment-rural-affairs
  6. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or email DAERA Press Office: pressoffice.group@daera-ni.gov.uk. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned

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