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Northern Ireland flagship events could face problems without Executive

By Jon Vale

Major golf tournaments in Northern Ireland could encounter problems unless political leadership is restored, a DUP MP has said.

Ian Paisley also cited football tournaments, motor racing and Red Bull air races as forthcoming events that needed decisions taken that were too controversial for civil servants.

The North Antrim MP said he felt the Government did not have the guts to pursue devolved government without Sinn Fein, and was now being pushed towards the prospect of direct rule.

"Northern Ireland wants to be an events location," Mr Paisley said. "We have next year the major golf tournament coming to my neighbour's constituency, and the year after that the British Open.

"Determinations and decisions will have to be made in January of next year to make those events go ahead without any problem.

"We will have a number of events, for example our Milk Cup, our Super Cup football tournament, our events to do with the North West 200.

"All decisions for financing those events, all decisions to do with, for example, whether or not we will have the Red Bull air races taking place in Northern Ireland, those decisions will have to be made in January."

Mr Paisley said civil servants "will be reluctant to ... start making those types of decisions, because they might be too controversial for them".

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