The culture minister of Northern Ireland has apologised to users of an Irish language website, whose personal details could be publicly accessed online.
The website was launched back in February as part of a campaign to encourage more people to learn Irish,; however, registered users' names, home addresses, email addresses and other personal information could be accessed through the site's search facility.
Culture minister, Carál N? Chuil?n has apologised and the site has been shut temporarily.
She said: "I am very sorry that some participants' names and other information which they had provided could have been found using the website's search facility.
"While it is disturbing that this should have been the case, at this stage there is no evidence that this information has been accessed or misused in any way."
The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure confirmed that the Liofa website did not hold any financial information about its registered users.
Carál N? Chuil?n has said her department has asked for "lead responsibility for the website content management" since February, but did not have lead responsibility for data protection until September.
She said: "Once we know what the problems are we will address them, and then we must have the website thoroughly checked and accredited before we bring it back online."
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