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DUP "back down" on appointment of Catholic to Rasharkin Committee

21 February, 2006

Ballymoney Sinn Féin Councillor Daithí McKay has welcomed the DUP u-turn in regard to the proposed appointment of a Catholic woman to the Rasharkin Community Centre Committee.

Cllr McKay said:

"The DUP has clearly backed down on the issue of the proposed appointments to the Rasharkin Community Centre. The Director at this month's full Council meeting advised that both candidates did meet the criteria outlined but the DUP still insisted on referring it back to a DUP-controlled committee, a committee, I might add, that they excluded Sinn Féin from last year.

"After speaking to the Catholic woman involved we were left in no doubt that the DUP were planning to try and exclude her from the committee as they themselves had nominated the other appointee.

"Sinn Féin went into the Leisure & Amenities Committee today, regardless of whether we were appointed to it or not, with the intention of informing the Committee that we would be seeking a judicial review and initiate legal proceedings if the DUP tried to reverse this decision. Thankfully there was no need for this as Cllr Wilson informed the group that he now was satisfied that the candidate met the criteria. This was something he clearly knew before he triggered this controversy; otherwise he would not have nominated the other candidate.

"I am glad that the DUP has backed down on this issue. After Sinn Féin highlighted it and questioned it legally it was clear that the DUP would have to reconsider or spend a fortune of ratepayers‚ money on an unsuccessful legal case. The decision to listen and take on board our argument was the right one." ENDS

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