DCSIMG

Special advisers legislation poised for legal challenge

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -  Sunday 2nd June 2013 - 

Sinn Fein Special Advisor Paul Kavanagh

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - Sunday 2nd June 2013 - Sinn Fein Special Advisor Paul Kavanagh

Sinn Féin has indicated that a legal challenge may be mounted against the controversial legislation banning people with serious Troubles related convictions from working as ministerial advisers.

The special advisers bill was passed on Monday following a lengthy debate in the Assembly. As a result, Derry based special adviser Paul Kavanagh, who has advised Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness for the last four years, is set to lose his job.

Mr Kavanagh spent 14 years in prison for IRA activities before being released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

The bill was tabled by TUV leader Jim Allister and was passed when the SDLP refused to sign a petition of concern which would have blocked it.

Foyle Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney claimed the SDLP stance had abandoned the Good Friday Agreement. “The SDLP were led away from the Good Friday Agreement and onto the ground of discrimination and inequality by rejectionist unionist Jim Allister.

“They have sold out the Good Friday Agreement and the principles which underpin it,” he said.

The legislation will now be examined by the Advocate General to assess its legality on behalf of the Northern Ireland Office before it is given royal assent.

 
 
 

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