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DUP must clarify relationship with Seaport Investments

11 September, 2007

North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has called on the DUP to clarify their relationship with the developer of a private proposal for a Visitors Centre at the Giant's Causeway. Mr McKay was speaking after it was revealed that Seymour Sweeney, who owns Seaport Investments Limited, signed the nomination papers for a DUP Councillor who ran in the Local Government Elections in Moyle in 2005.

Mr McKay said:

"It is vitally important that the DUP declare what its relationship with Seaport Investments and this developer is, especially given the fact that two of its Ministers have signalled that they are going to give him the go-ahead for a Visitors Centre which will net this developer millions of pounds.

"The publicly funded Visitors Centre would have seen profits from the Giant's Causeway being reinvested in the area through Moyle Council and the National Trust and local people are totally disgusted that the profits that are to be raised through our World Heritage Site are to go straight into the private sector.

"People working in the tourist sector here are disgusted at these latest developments and are also aware that there may be a serious conflict of interest between the private developer and the DUP. There are a lot of questions which remain unanswered, especially in regard to the lengthy delays that the public sector proposal faced within DETI and the DUP Minister responsible Nigel Dodds also has a lot of explaining to do too. Why, for example, has Nigel Dodds withdrew his support for the publicly funded Visitors Centre even though the private application still hasn't been approved?

"Given the nature in which the two DUP Ministers pulled the plug on a publicly funded Visitors Centre before the Assembly had an opportunity to debate the issue I think that that the DUP have a lot of serious questions to answer on this issue. I welcome todays adjournment debate and urge common sense to prevail on this debaclé."

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