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Tourism: Northern Ireland

Volume 691: debated on Wednesday 9 May 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Why, in the publication Northern Ireland—The CS Lewis Story, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board referred to CS Lewis as being from an Irish background and not from an Ulster-Scots background. [HL3481]

Northern Ireland—The CS Lewis Story was developed and published in December 2005 to coincide with the release of the Disney/Walden Media film ”The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe”.

An expert on CS Lewis’s life and work was commissioned by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board to write copy for the publication. One of the opening lines of the publication is a direct quotation from CS Lewis in 1958, on being informed that his heavy breathing was causing problems with a radio broadcast recording session. The quotation is as follows:

“I'm Irish not English. Did you ever know an Irishman who didn't puff and blow?”

The purpose of the inclusion of this direct quotation from CS Lewis was to highlight the fact that Lewis was not English, as is the common misconception among the general public, but in fact, in his own words, of an Irish background.

This matter is now the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Administration.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Rooker on 25 April (WA 165) concerning genealogy as a Northern Ireland tourism attraction, what future role they envisage for the Ulster Historical Foundation; and how the foundation will be funded. [HL3503]