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'No plans' for Queen's Baton relay

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The Commonwealth Games is being held in Glasgow

The Commonwealth Games is being held in Glasgow

PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Commonwealth Games is being held in Glasgow

Northern Ireland's Sports Minister has insisted she is fully supportive of athletes competing in the Commonwealth Games.

Caral Ni Chuilin said her department aimed to help athletes win at least five medals and had contributed almost £500,000 to squads and governing bodies since 2011.

But the Sinn Fein Minister said there were no plans to mark the arrival of the Queen's Baton relay - which has been a curtain raiser for the Commonwealth Games for more than 50 years.

"I have no plans in fact it is the first I have heard of it. You learn something new every day.

"But in terms of supporting athletes competing in the Commonwealth Games I am on the record and am quite happy to do that regardless of who they are competing for or how they are competing," said the Sinn Fein minister.

The Queen's Baton relay will land in Northern Ireland next May as part of a 288-day tour that takes in all 71 Commonwealth nations and territories ahead of the opening ceremony in Glasgow in July.

"What we need to do is cut the nonsense out, get behind the athletes and move on," said the minister.