On the Nolan Show…

Edwin Poots and Mark Durkan are on the Nolan Show. Durkan has some interesting detail about the paper trail. Poots says the original notes taken at the meeting in question are available for her to inspect for herself. Durkan saying that the official legal advice did not cover the original contract on the Section 75 of the Equality Act.

  • me

    In the name of god mick, it’s about ole dolls in their pj’s!!!

    aw come on now…

  • J Kelly

    Ms Ritchie needs to calm down. My view of this is she announced a deadline in August prompted by the SDLP thinking there was going to be an Autumn election the deadline arrived Gordon bottled it. Pressure from all sides will I wont I. She went on a solo and what seems to be happening now is that other parties in the executive are saying lets do the thing properly and not allow a Judical Review to make us all look stupid. Time to reflect. Faked minutes I think if that were possible the larger parties would hold that trick for something more important.

    Margaret Ritchie is right to stop the UDA money but needs to be careful what is her motivation because the SDLP have no problem doing side deals with the UDA when it suits. All is fair when an election is called. West Belfast 1992.

  • interested

    Of course its all a big conspiracy to get Margaret – apparently the Civil Service are in on it, all the other Parties are in on it – they’re faking minutes and doing everything just to get her.

    As if she’s that important!

    I think Poots made the point relevant to the initial post in this thread. If the legal advice from the central source didn’t cover all of the issues then she should have went back to them and asked for specific advice in that area – not just tout round in the Yellow Pages to get advice which she wanted.

    Also – she consulted with Ministerial Colleages on the basis that she was going to continue with the status quo. On that basis none of them had any comment to make, had she sent a note consulting on the stoppage of the funding then clearly she would have got a much different message.

    If she believed that no comment on continuing the funding equalled no comment on the funding issue per se then surely that raises some questions over her judgement and ability.

    But then she’ll just claim that the conspirators will fake the minutes just to make her look stupid.


    It’s nice to see that SF posters have finally agreed a line to take.

    But the ‘she’s just an hyterical woman’ label is unlikely to stick lads – your problem is that people recognise courage and integrity when they see it. And they see it very clearly in Margaret Ritchie.

    They also know craven hypocrisy and immoral cowardice when they see it. How gratifying it must be for the volunteers to see SF ministers backing Peter Robinson’s bid to keep funding the UDA. And when did SF become cheer leaders for the Northern IReland Civil Service?

  • I Wonder

    Seems SF have declared “war” on a Minister (a) doing what they promised and (b) standing up to the UDA.

    Is this something that those voting for that party should be proud of?

  • mekong

    Was the independant legal advice she sought Alaister McDonald?

    The SDLP clear strategy here was to have Ritchie take the decision even though they knew it was likely to be overturned in court. Politically Ritchie looks tough and the UDA get their money anyway in other words a political stunt. The other main Executive parties wanted to be clear if the money was stopped that it had been done properly and stopped for good, thats why the process is important. the inside track says that Ritchie is wrong/lying about the minutes and her accusations will leave her in a very difficult position.


    Mekong: “The other main Executive parties wanted to be clear if the money was stopped that it had been done properly and stopped for good, thats why the process is important. the inside track says that Ritchie is wrong/lying about the minutes and her accusations will leave her in a very difficult position.”

    Do you honestly believe that this type of misrepresentation will fool anyone? You’re clearly a smart person – are you happy using your talents protecting those who seek to protect the UDA?

    ‘The inside track’? Give us a break.

  • mekong

    Margaret Ritchie was right to stop the money to the UDA, will that achieve anything – I doubt it. But she and the SDLP have made a balls of this for political opportunism and will be exposed for having done. Durkan thought he was being a clever dick and it has backfired, all this conspiracy nonsense will be seen for what it is when the facts come to light.

  • J Kelly

    Come on URQUHART think about it this is all about elections. Political manipulation by her party which has backfired.

    After all of this the UDA still getting our money. Stronger my F**K. Stupider. This is the second blunder by the SDLP in haste remember the ad on policing. I hear the same adviser involved. The SDLP will need plenty of money to keep paying these lawyers.

    bhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7052341.stmy surprise.

    Does anyone know can a Minister be surcharged like a councillor. Barred from holding office and all that.

  • Hogan from County Tyrone


    “as if she’s that important.”

    Believe me as an SDLP supporter i could have slept much easier on this issue if the NIO/DUP/SF/UDA/Irish Govt./US Govt. and assorted church leaders DIDN’T think she was that important.

    No.. instead they put her under tremendous pressure both personally and professionally, briefing against her, whispering that she’d cave.

    Of course the UDA weren’t all that subtle in their pressure. They just went back to basics with a good ol’ traditional death threat! (We’ll after all she is just a fenian woman isn’t she???)

    Now, i’m not usually one for conspiracy theories but given what i’ve just outlined in the para above if you think that the NIO/Civil Service/DUP/SF axis can’t put a fresh gloss one set of minutes to create a bit of smoke and save their policy of UDA appeasement (and in some cases their arses!) then you are the one that is delusional!

  • Is this about the two big parties insisting that the smaller ones have no power on the executive and must get their permission for every move they make?
    If so: things could have been very different if the SDLP and UUs had worked out that strategy between them nine years ago.
    And, if the SDLP and UUs are to have no power on the executive but to vote against a duopoly that will always outrank them, then why stay on it?

    If Ritchie is pushed to resignation on this, it will be Mark Durcan’s job alone to appoint a successor to her. It will make more sense for him then to decline to do so and to go into opposition.


    J Kelly: “Come on URQUHART think about it this is all about elections.”

    I’m surprised at you buying so readily and explicitly into the analysis of Frankie Gallagher and the UPRG. That tells its own story.

    Two things that expose this line for the nonsense it is. Listen carefully now:

    1. When she issued the ultimatum, there was no word of Autumn elections

    2. When the hype about Autumn elections started, South Down SDLP moved immediately to confirm that Eddie McGrady would be the candidate if one were called.

    So leave the election conspiracy stuff to the UDA and their mates and don’t insult the intelligence of sluggers.

  • applegate

    I may stand to be corrected on this but wasn’t there a clause inserted at St Andrews that ruled out any future chance of there ever being an opposition in the Assembly.
    A clause inserted at the DUPs insistance if my memory serves me right.
    I think at this point in time all the parties are breathing a sigh of relief that a snap election wasn’t called.
    The wolves are circling Margaret Richie whose biggest problem in all this was honesty.
    She says what she thinks and doesn’t go in for spin, as a politician that’s rare and something that would have been knocked out of her I’m sure after a year or two in office.
    In light of recent events she may never get the chance to become a convincing question dodging liar!

  • Ian

    3. By the time the deadline had passed, the election that never was had been called off anyway.

  • J Kelly

    URQ From day one of Brown taking over there has been speculation of an Autumn election and it only reached fever pitch at conference time.

    Secondly it wasn’t South Down SDLP who announced McGrady it was McGrady and only when an election looked certain did Ritchie back McGrady. Not for one minute do you believe that Durkan would have given her the job if he thought McGrady would run again. Its no secret that McGrady has no time for Durkan since he didn’t get a ministers job the last time.

  • Mick Fealty


    I’d be careful going too far down the road of making motivation primary in any of the parties to this dispute. The transcript of the party’s questions on Tuesday suggest some highly contradictory motives behind Sinn Fein’s conduct through this crisis, particularly when measured against McGuinness’s statement last night.


    J Kelly, thanks for the clarification of your motivation at least.

    My points stand. Also, the nonsense of your claim about Mark Durkan not appointing Ritchie if he thought she wouldn’t be standing is demonstrated by the fact that he didn’t think being an effective MP and a Minister was compatible. And ruled himself out of the job.

    Spin all you like, but what’s right is right. SF would be better off backing Margaret and concentrating on how they’re going to sell water charges to the election workers.

  • Sean

    Its nice to see that every, one measuring by their words, is ceding the primacy of SF

  • veritas

    nice to see on the bbc news that reg empey backed ritchie’s version of events at the executive

  • J Kelly

    I am not saying that the SDLP election motivation was wrong because thats politics. Political parties all political paries do things at times serves their interests first and foremost. I have no difficulty with that but also its the job of political opponents, which I am of the SDLP, to were possible expose such practices.

    Mick Sinn Fein have been clear no money to the UDA but lets do the job right. The questions seem to have been in my view prepared ahead of the announcement. Martin was right last night this is a spat not a crisis.

    Without having seen any detail it seems everyone at the table has backed whatever Conor Murphy proposed on water. Even Mc Cann and co are claimimg victory.

  • Comrade Stalin


    nice to see on the bbc news that reg empey backed ritchie’s version of events at the executive

    I think Reg has (correctly) sniffed the public mood here. Not a bad choice considering that the executive seems to be hell-bent on dragging itself before water.

    Time for the SDLP and UUP to quit and leave the DUP-SF coalition to it.

    Without having seen any detail it seems everyone at the table has backed whatever Conor Murphy proposed on water.

    The Sinn Fein manifesto was clear – no water charges. Murphy’s proposals are clear – you will pay for water. Talk about spin!

    Even Mc Cann and co are claimimg victory.

    You’re going to have to provide a link for that.