“The Committee recommends that Mr McElduff apologises for breaching the Code”

Sinn Féin MLA Barry McElduff had played down his appearance in front of the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee on Standards and Privileges yesterday on Stormont Live, but by the end of today’s programme Mark Devenport had his hands on the minutes. [Dishonourably leaked? – Ed] Perhaps not. Here’s the Committee’s report which, as it notes, Mr McElduff accepted. Of particular note is the breach of the Code of Conduct about which the report upheld the complaint – “The Public Duty states that ‘Members have a duty to uphold the law and to act on all occasions in accordance with the public trust placed in them’.” That may well have implications about how people engage with the Assembly.. and, possibly, other matters..

And the Committee Report

1. The Committee on Standards and Privileges has considered a report by the Interim Assembly Commissioner for Standards into a complaint by Mr Thomas Buchanan MLA against Mr Barry McElduff MLA. The report of the Interim Assembly Commissioner for Standards and the complaint by Mr Buchanan are appended to this report.

2. The complaint referred to an article in the Strabane Chronicle on 28 August 2008 which stated that a number of post boxes in the Strabane area had been painted green as part of a campaign by Ógra Shinn Féin. In the article Mr McElduff gave his reaction to what had happened and was quoted as commending those who were involved in the campaign.

3. Mr Buchanan claimed that Mr McElduff’s comments in the newspaper article broke the Public Duty for Members as set out in ‘The Code of Conduct for Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly’. The Public Duty states that “Members have a duty to uphold the law and to act on all occasions in accordance with the public trust placed in them”.

4. The Interim Commissioner for Standards considered this complaint and advised that the deliberate defacement of property constituted vandalism. The Interim Commissioner therefore concluded that Mr McElduff’s comments were not consistent with the responsibility of Public Duty as set out in the Code.

5. The Committee agrees with the Interim Commissioner’s conclusions. The complaint is upheld and the Committee finds that Mr McElduff has failed to comply with the Code of Conduct.

6. Mr McElduff was invited to appear before the Committee and when he did so he accepted the Interim Commissioner’s report. The Committee welcomed this and Mr McElduff’s assertion to the Interim Commissioner that he does not condone vandalism.

7. The Committee recommends that Mr McElduff apologises for breaching the Code by means of a personal statement to the Assembly.

8. The Committee takes this opportunity to remind all Members about their responsibility under ‘Public Duty’ in the Assembly’s Code of Conduct.

And a reminder of what Barry McElduff had said about his appearance in front of the Committee yesterday

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  • Bruno Spiro

    Perhaps Barry can eat his humble pie inside a postbox to avoid the stares?

  • Ogra Abu!

    What exactly is so offensive to members of the assembly about Barry McElduff supporting a young republican campaign.. as if they really care about what young republicans are doing in Strabane!!

    Typical SDLP and unionist political opportunism to try and make Barra look bad!!

    Apology?? Dont do it Barry! Stick to your guns!!

  • Stick to your guns!!

    He has guns too.

  • Ogra Abu!

    Thats very original of you John unforunately its more nonsense.

  • ogra abu

    Can’t take a joke!

  • niall

    Humour ot on the GCSE syllabus for him John.

    A classic Slugger posting Ogra Abu, you could make it up clearly.

  • dunreavynomore

    ógra abú
    “stick to your guns’, hee hee hee, a bit late for that. There is a man in Crossmaglen who told me that decommissioning never happened and that the weapons are “in a shed in Mayo” and that “a Chinaman has the key!!!!!!” he’s too old for Ogra, though.

  • Tyrone abu

    Ogra,

    I can only despair at the state of Republicanism due to the ineptitude of Sinn Fein.

    I truly despair for us all.

  • I heard the same story only it was a Polish migrant worker who had the key to the shed in Gdansk, and there were no weapons in it only smuggled cigarettes. These Crossmaglen men have great stories.

  • Ogra Abu!!

    Dunreavy,

    Theres been a good bit in the news today about dementia and alzheimers. Perhaps that poor chap in Cross is having those sorts of problems?

  • Archie Purple

    Barry sounded a bit of subjuded when speaking on Radio Ulster today, compared to his performance on the Assembly politics programme with Jim Fitzpatrick and Mark Davenport.

    [play the ball – edited moderator]

  • barnshee

    Order a modest load of readymix and fill all the post boxes in Strabane (and all of Tyrone for all I care) The natives clearly don`t want them

    Alternatively paint them all green and send all the letters to Dublin and let Dublin deliver them

  • Seamus

    Barry McElduff was hauled before the Committee for commending a bunch of wee fellas who painted a post box green.

    I wonder, will the Committee do the same to Sammy Wilson after he recomended that Northern Ireland employeers become racist and xenophobic and break the law by ignoring Fair Employment Legislation.

  • Seamus,

    Wilson was out of order with his remarks but if he broke any law, it was civil law.

    McElduff, meanwhile, may have broken the criminal law by inciting a person to inflict criminal damage.

    McElduff may also wish to reflect on the fact that people may be seriously inconvenienced by the actions of him and his young party members. Everybody should be able to recognise a post box in a street. If I was looking for a post box, I would be looking for a red one.

    I have nothing against republicans expressing politically, so long as it is lawful but this is just pure thoughtless self-indulgence. Behaviour such as this is totally unbefitting of an elected representative. The actions of the committee are entirely appropriate.

  • Kieran

    ‘Alternatively paint them all green and send all the letters to Dublin and let Dublin deliver them’

    I like your All Ireland thinking Banshee. I would support you in your call.

    All Ireland Postal Service Now!