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Shock at UDA linked funding revelation

13 October, 2008

Sinn Féin Assembly member Paul Maskey today said that people would be shocked at the revelation that DSD Minister Margaret Ritchie has continued to fund the UDA linked CTI project to the tune of almost £400,000 since she made her announcement ending this funding late last year.

Mr Maskey said:

"Last year in a great fanfare Minister Ritchie announced that she had withdrawn funding from the UDA linked CTI project. At the time Sinn Féin and all of the other Executive parties publicly supported her position but were fearful that the approach she adopted in not seeking Executive cover left her decision open to challenge.

"Unfortunately it now seems that this position has been borne out. Since her announcement last year almost £400,000 of taxpayers money has been pumped into this project away from the glare of the media. I am quite sure that the vast majority of ordinary people will be shocked at this revelation. The manner in which the Minister went about taking her decision, chasing headlines instead of following procedures is the direct cause of this turn of events.

"What Minister Ritchie has achieved since her announcement last November is the continuation of funding to the UDA linked project in direct contravention of the position articulated by every other Executive party who wanted to see the funding ended." ENDS

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