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Parades Commission appointments in chaos

27 February, 2006

Sinn Féin North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly has said that the revelation that the last appointments to the Parades Commission were confirmed without references being checked throws into chaos the appointments process.

Mr Kelly said:

"This is not the first time that the appointments process being used by direct rule ministers has been exposed. Clearly these appointments in relation to the Parades Commission were not carried out in accordance with normal standard procedures. Sinn Féin have raised these concerns, and concerns about the appointment of the Victim‚s commissioner directly with Peter Hain.

"Sinn Féin share the serious concerns which exist throughout nationalist and republican communities across the North with regard to the make-up of the new Commission.

Upper Bann MLA John O'Dowd added:

"I am also aware that other equally controversial evidence regarding procedures may also emerge in court during a legal case being initiated by one of my constituents from the Garvaghy Road in Portadown.

"This revelation does not help the Commission. It also should not be overlooked that the people who oversaw this appointments process - The Security Operations and Policy Department of the NIO - are the same people who were responsible for the infamous and brutal 'game plan' strategy used against the Garvaghy Road community in 1997." ENDS

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