[Sinn Fein]

4th July 2003

McDowell resorts to jobs for the boys in Equality Authority appointment

Sinn Fein representative and local election candidate for Donaghmede, Killian Forde has said that Michael McDowell's appointment of a totally ill equipped and unqualified fellow party member, Bob Quinn, to the Equality Authority is disgraceful and nothing more than jobs for the boys. He called on Mr. Quinn to do the right thing and turn down his appointment as a board member of the Equality Authority.

Responding to Minister Mc Dowell's announcement of the new Equality Authority board (on June 25th), Forde said: ``The Equality Authority mission proclaims that it looks to `Providing leadership in building a commitment to addressing equality issues in practice'. It is beyond me how the Minister, who seems determined to undermine the work of the Authority, through his public sniping and the introduction of legislation such as the Intoxicating Liquor Bill (2003), can credibly be seen to promote equality when he has now resorted to the tactic of rewarding party members with high profile positions of state boards which they are ill equipped and unqualified to contribute to.

``While I am realise that the procedure of stuffing semi state boards and state boards with `loyal members' is a long held `reward' for holding office by many of the establishment parties, I firmly believe that appointments to the Equality Authority should be on the basis of suitability and expertise.

``Do Minister McDowell and Bob Quinn not realise that the other side to discrimination is favouritism. This favouritism is the only reason that Bob Quinn was appointed to the board and as such Mr Quinn lacks any sort of credibility. He should be ashamed to walk into a meeting to discuss discrimination when the only reason he is there is political patronage.

``I am calling on Bob Quinn to do the right thing and turn down his appointment to the board.''ENDS

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