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Michelle McIlveen appointed new farming minister for Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs has appointed its third Michelle to the role of farming minister.

Alice   Singleton

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Alice   Singleton
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Michelle McIlveen
Michelle McIlveen

Michelle McIlveen has been appointed minister for agriculture for Northern Ireland.

 

Miss McIlveen served previous terms in the NI Assembly from 2007-2011, and 2011-2014, and was re-elected in May this year.

 

She takes over from Michelle O’Neill from Sinn Fein who succeeded her party colleague Michelle Gildernew in the same post.

 

On accepting her new role as Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) Agricultural Minister, 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.

 

Opportunities

 

"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’.”

 

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.

 

She continued: "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 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.”

 

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