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Doherty - Anger at appointments to Sperrin Lakeland Trust

9 January, 2006

Sinn Féin West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty has said that the decision to exclude
local expertise from appointments to the Sperrin Lakeland Health Trust is
deeply disappointing and questioned the continued practice of making
appointments from the SDLP and Alliance party.

Mr Doherty said:

"I believe that an opportunity to rebuild confidence in the Trust has been
lost with nature of these appointments.

"There will be widespread anger at the decision of Shaun Woodward to bypass
local expertise in making his new appointments to the Sperrin Lakeland
Trust. Of the five appointments only one, Mr Gamble, has any link with
people in West Tyrone.

"In particular I think that the appointment of a former SDLP MLA from Derry,
Ms Annie Courtney, and an Alliance Councillor from Carryduff, Cllr Geraldine
Rice, will again raise the questions about the influence of these parties on
Quangos that goes far beyond the political mandate either receive
particularly here in West Tyrone.

"The preponderance of representatives from these two parties in particular
on unaccountable quangos is a huge problem that the Review of Public
Administration must eradicate." ENDS

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