[Sinn Fein]

19th February 2002

Reilly Calls on Minister Dempsey To Rescind Appointment

Following reports in the Sunday Business Post, Sinn Fein's General Election Candidate Cllr. Joe Reilly has called on the Minister for the Department of the Environment and Local Government (DOELG) to rescind his decision to appoint his brothers business partner to the board of National Roads Authority as the proposed appointee's business could be the cause of a ``conflict of interest''.

He said: ``The proposed appointment of Mr. Raymond Potterton to the National Roads Authority (NRA) should be withdrawn as Mr Pottertons and Mr. Dempseys firm will be negotiating on behalf of local landowners with the NRA as the state prepares to buy their lands to facilitate the road building programme from Clonee to Kells. Millions of pounds will be paid to landowners by the NRA and as Mr. Potterton and Mr. Dempsey will be representing landowners their firm will be a benefactor of negotiations.

At present there are several tribunals is situ inquiring into the relationship between big business and politics. It is important that appointments by goverment compliment the work of the tribunals. In this contex and in the interest of clarity and transparency, I ask that Minister Dempsey immediately reconsider his decision to appoint a member of a firm, partly owned by his brother, to such a sensitive position at it could be perceived as a ``conflict of interest''.

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