As of 10 July 2006 Rally Ireland has received Exchequer funding of £321,099.21 for its 2005 event and £200,886.92 for its 2006 event.
This funding has been issued through the Northern Ireland Events Company (NIEC) in accordance with its procedures on the payment of grant claims as follows:
The applicant can present grant claims as soon as a contract is signed and they have incurred expenditure, subject to it satisfying all conditions of offer. Each claim is accompanied by an auditor's certificate, bank statement evidencing expenditure and copies of invoices relevant to the claim and quotes/tenders if applicable. This is assessed by NIEC for accuracy and against conditions of offer and if everything is in order a payment is released.
Much of the documentation regarding the payment of grant by NIEC to Rally Ireland, and indeed any other body being funded, is commercially sensitive and as such is prohibited from disclosure in line with relevant information access legislation.
Since May 2005 my right honourable friend has met Ronan Morgan on a number of occasions as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Secretary of State for Wales.
As Secretary of State for Northern Ireland he met Mr Morgan at the launch of the World Rally Championship bid on 4 July 2005 at Parliament Buildings and at the Rally Ireland events in October 2005 and March 2006. Mr Morgan was also part of a delegation which met the Secretary of State in Stormont Castle on 25 October 2005.
As Secretary of State for Wales, my right honourable friend attended a charity dinner at which Mr Morgan was in attendance as guest of someone else. He also attended the Wales Rally GB in September 2005, when Ronan Morgan was still working as event director of that event, and is likely to have met him there.