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Questions for International Airport on DUP Annual dinner claims – Kearney

24 February, 2018 - by Declan Kearney

Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney has said Belfast International Airport should publicly clarify if it sponsored a gala dinner in Galgorm on 23rd February and whether this dinner was in fact linked to the DUP.

The South Antrim MLA said: 

“My concern relates to the transparency around the sponsorship and beneficiaries of this event. I will be seeking clarification from Belfast International Airport, which has enjoyed government backing, as to whether or not, it directly or indirectly sponsored a gala dinner which DUP representatives have claimed was a DUP event. 

"I consider it to be in the public interest to establish clearly whether this has happened, and in turn, if the International Airport owners think it appropriate for an airport, which is supposed to serve the interests of the entire community, should be involved with events which would raise questions and perceptions regarding partisan support for one political party.

“I am also concerned that the International Airport may have been sponsoring an event which was positively promoting Brexit at a time when the Tory Brexit agenda poses one of the biggest threats to face the airport and the future of the regional and island economies, by putting jobs and workers’ rights at risk.

“I intend to ask the Galgorm Resort and Spa, which hosted this event, if those attending this function were asked to pay up to £1,500 a table directly to the host premises.

“It is also a matter of acute public interest to establish if any of this money has been, or will be transferred directly or indirectly into the coffers of the DUP. I am aware that local DUP representatives have said that this event was the DUP Annual North Antrim MP dinner.

“The public is entitled to know if indeed the DUP has benefitted financially from this event, and to what extent. If so, all relevant financial gains and benefits should be recorded and reported in the DUP's annual returns.”  

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