Murphy must go

The DUP heralded St Andrew’s as removing the ability of Ministers to act unilaterally. Fred Cobain doesn’t think that Conor Murphy has read the script. Fred and John O’Dowd Raymond McCartney were both interviewed on the issue very early during Evening Extra last night.

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Ahem, that will be Raymond McCartney… it’s about 12 minutes in…

  • Michael Shilliday

    Ah yes, sorry, O’Dowd was on Talkback today. My mistake!

  • J Kelly

    good to see the old sf publicity department still hard at work

  • Insider

    Cobain seems a bit of a balloon – surely he can hardly stand over asking for Conor to go when he should of handed in his report card at the end of May – yet ended up faxing it in on at 6pm on June 6th – and possibly even then only after Reg probably ripped him a new one after agreeing the terms of reference at the Exec sub-commiitee on June 4th for the Exec to sign off on them on June 7th.

    Perhaps this was just a knee jerk reation to being caught out not doping his own job very well.

  • fair_deal

    Slight problem, it wasn’t an ‘unilateral’ decision.

  • Mick Fealty

    No, indeed. Thanks for the detail Insider. Though it looks to me as though there is more to this story than first meets the eye. Minister trying to put a mark on his scrutinising committee?

  • SGI User


  • interested

    You do yourself no favours with this rubbish.

    The Review into water was an Executive decision – one which Reggie and the Undertaker signed off on. Does Fred want them to go as well?

    It does sum up the kind of childish politics I think we may see from the UUP though – the DUP may have done stunts in their time in opposition but at least they done them well. The UUP can’t even get cheap pubicity attempts like this done properly.

    Poor marks all round.

  • Michael Shilliday

    I think there is some confusion about what the issue is. This is about a Minister disregarding the statutory committee set to shadow him, his decisions and his department. Fred commented on Evening Extra that if the minister isnt going to take the committees seriously, then the other 94 MLAs can just go home. And the DUP told us this all this had been ironed out……

  • fair_deal


    “This is about a Minister disregarding the statutory committee set to shadow him, his decisions and his department.”

    1. He didn’t disregard it, it didn’t do its job.
    2. When it didn’t do its job, scrutiny by the four main parties was ensured by the executive sub-group.

    “And the DUP told us this all this had been ironed out……”

    Under the old rules CM could have announced the terms of the review. Instead it was taken to an all-party sub-group and the full executive. This is not an example of failure but success. The systems of work are being changing to ensure agreement and thus no need for the checks and balances to be regularly invoked.

  • interested

    Do stop digging, there’s a good boy.

    Also, tell us why Fred Cobain didn’t submit his report on time? Is there a good reason? If not then:

    Cobain must go!

  • Michael Shilliday

    This is the point, it was on time. Murphy disregarded it.

  • fair_deal

    “This is the point, it was on time.”

    CM says he requested a response from the committee on 16th May. He says he asked for a response by the end of May. He says the committee’s response was not recieved until 6pm on 6th June. At first glance this does not look to be “on time”.

    Maybe CM is being misleading in his statements, so have you anything to contradict these statements? Either that
    a) he did not inform the committee that he wanted a response by the end of May
    b) he told the committee he was extending the deadline for their response but then acted as if he hadn’t
    c) that the committee did submit a response before the end of May

    Perhaps you are claiming it is “on time” because it was before the final sign off of the Executive on the 7th. However, submitting it six days after a deadline, outside normal business hours the night before the Executive meeting (probably after the formal papers have been prepared), two days after the Executive sub group had met leaves “on time” looking pretty dubious.

    Also an UUP minister participated in the Executive sub group on 4th June and both UU ministers signed off on it on 6th June. Why were they involving themselves in all this if the UUP believed CM was in breach of his commitment to the oversight committee? Did they raise it at either the sub-group or full executive? Did they vote against the terms at either the sub-group or full executive because of this?

  • fair_deal

    “both UU ministers signed off on it on 6th June.”

    Correction 7th June

  • interested

    Is there an issue here about communication (or lack of) between Fred and his UUP ministerial colleagues?

    I get the sense that Fred is trying to make a bit of a name for himself as the ‘water watchdog’ and isn’t going to let nasty issues like the facts get in his way.

    He might just have got away with it if it wasn’t for the childish first reaction of calling for Murphy’s head. He didn’t even get decent press coverage for it and he’s managed to damage what little credibility he had. Wonder if Reg has whispered a few words of warning into Fred’s ear post this debacle.

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