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Clarke: SDLP have questions to answer on Declan Gormley

17 January, 2011

Sinn Féin Assembly member Willie Clarke today called on the SDLP and in particular John Dallat and Patsy McGlone who are both members of the Assembly Public Accounts Committee currently investigating procurement failings at NI Water to publicly explain their position on pre-empting the outcome of that PAC inquiry before it has formally concluded.

He said, “Today in the Assembly Chamber during the DRD Ministers Statement on the recent winter freeze/thaw situation, SDLP member John Dallat asked Conor Murphy to apologise to former NIW Director, Declan Gormley, whose dismissal for procurement failures at the company Mr Dallat described as “erroneous”. 

He further stated, “Conor Murphy also revealed that SDLP MLA, Patsy McGlone, has also been phoning his Department in recent times similarly asking for an apology for Mr Gormley.  Given that both these MLAs are members of the PAC which has not yet concluded its investigation into procurement failings at NIW this seriously calls into question their judgement and independence in this matter.”

Mr Clarke, who is Deputy Chair of the Standards and Privileges Committee, said, “This may be an issue for my own Committee to look into as it would appear to me that there is a clear conflict between these SDLP Assembly Members lobbying for Mr Gormley whilst sitting on the Committee which is currently investigating the issues which took place under Mr Gormley’s Directorship at NI Water.”

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