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Shock that two Seymour Sweeney deals formed part of key DUP negotiations at St Andrews

16 January, 2008


North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has said that members of the public will be astounded that two deals involving property developer Seymour Sweeney formed part of key DUP negotiations at St Andrews.

Mr McKay said:

"Most people will find it extraordinary that Seymour Sweeney's application for a Visitors Centre at the Giants Causeway, as well as a land deal in Ballymena which he is involved with, formed part of key DUP negotiations at St Andrews to restore the Assembly.

"The fact that one third of the items on the 'shopping list' Ian Paisley brought to the St Andrews negotiations involved the developer Seymour Sweeney speaks for itself.

"Mr Paisley was not upfront about his efforts to get land in Ballymena sold below market value, he was not upfront about his relationship with Seymour Sweeney when first questioned about it and he did not disclose that the Ballee land deal and Giant's Causeway development formed part of negotiations.

"Ian Paisley has had over 4 months to be totally transparent about his relationship with Seymour Sweeney and has failed to do so. He has lost all credibility in the eyes of many members of the public. The DUP has a duty to the public to now clarify whether or not the Environment Minister Arlene Foster and the Enterprise Minister Nigel Dodds were present at St Andrews when Ian Paisley Junior was lobbying for private sector land to be included in the development at the Giant's Causeway." ENDS

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