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Poots criticised for delay in appointing Sports boss

6 May, 2008

Sinn Féin West Tyrone MLA Barry McElduff, who is chairperson of the Assembly Culture, Arts and Leisure Committee has criticised the Minster Edwin Poots over the delay in appointing the new Chairperson of the Board of Sport NI.

The post has been vacant since the Prof Eric Saunders stepped down last year. Edwin Poots, in response to a written question (AQW 6050/08), confirmed that the post was unfilled in the original appointment process and it will be July at the earliest before someone is appointed.

Mr McElduff said:

"By the time Edwin Poots gets this position filled the Board of Sports will have been left without a Chair for over 6 months.

"The Minister is guilty of undue delay at a crucial time when our sports require strategic direction and leadership.

"While the Minister may be playing for extra time key issues such as the 2012 Olympics, the multi-sports stadium and the development and implantation of a sports strategy need effective leadership and decision making.

"We need certainty not dithering from Edwin Poots; and we need this position filled as a matter of urgency. The failure to appoint leaves many unanswered questions, not least about how many people have been passed over.

"This is no reflection on anyone on the Board at the Board of Sports but we need this resolved now." ENDS

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