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Sinn Féin MLA disappointed by Assembly inaction over Ian Paisley Junior remarks

6 September, 2007

Sinn Féin Ethnic Minority spokesperson, Gerry McHugh MLA has expressed grave disappointment over the lack of action taken by the Assembly in response to a complaint by a member of the public to Ian óg Paisley's highly offensive remarks in a magazine article.

"Ian óg Paisley, as a Junior Minister, has a responsiblilty to represent all sections of the community and his comments about the gay and lesbian community were absolutely wrong.

"The assembly ombubsman had the opportunity to use his power to give a frank and just reflection of the events and the complaint against Mr Paisley.

"Instead, in the report which was leaked to the media, the ombudsman chose to avoid the seriousness of the issue and is open to orchestrating a whitewash.

"The gay and lesbian community and the Irish community as a whole feel left down by this and unfortunately the Standards and Privileges committee, of which I am vice chair, were left to vote on a bland and lackluster report which resulted in a Unionist block choosing to support Mr Paisley rather than supporting the public view.

"My party is outraged at these events and strongly wishes Mr Paisley would grow up and show some respect for minority communities in the future." ENDS

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