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Ward Hails elevation to Committee Vice-Chair as a victory for Equality and Parity of Esteem

3 September, 2007

Sinn Féin Representative for Banbridge and District, Cllr. Dessie Ward, has hailed his recent elevation to vice-chair of the Council's influential Policy and Resources Committee as a victory for Equality and Parity of Esteem.

Cllr. Ward has been locked in a 'wrangle' with the Council over the summer recess which involved a P.R campaign and having to seek legal advice to secure his right to hold this position under the Council's proportionality system.

Cllr. Ward commented:

"Banbridge District Council's proportionality system was introduced at a time when it was thought almost impossible for a Sinn Féiner to be elected onto the Council. This much was evident when it came to this year when it was my turn to take a chair or vice-chair of a committee. While all other nominations went through smoothly there was an attempt to block my accession to such a position by some unionist councillor's within the Council.

"After exposing this through the media and seeking legal advice over the course of the summer months, I have now been elevated to the position to which I am clearly entitled. It is unfortunate that some unionist's decided to make an issue of this particularly when we see the developments of late in the wider peace process.

"It's now time to move on and deal with the real issues affecting the area at the present time; however, there is no doubt that this will be seen as a very important victory for equality and parity of esteem." ENDS

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