Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tribunal Says Northern Ireland Sinn Fein Official Discriminated Against Protestant Applicant

The Northern Ireland Fair Employment Tribunal has ruled that the government's Department of Regional Development (DRD) under its former Sinn Fein minister Conor Murphy discriminated on religious grounds against Dr. Alan Lennon, an applicant for the position of chairman of Northern Ireland Water.  According to reports from UTV News and the Irish Times yesterday, the Tribunal concluded that successful candidate Sean Hogan won out over Lennon (and 3 other Protestant candidates) "because [Hogan] was not from a Protestant background and because he was known to the Minister and his ministerial colleagues." The Fair Employment Tribunal also found that during the 2007-2011 period when Conor Murphy was DRD chairman, Catholic applicants were at least twice as likely as Protestant applicants to be appointed to positions. The Tribunal will hold a second hearing later to determine a damage award.  The DRD has 6 weeks to decide whether to appeal the Tribunal's decision.