DUP won’t intervene on employment matters, except when they will

Arlene Foster refused to echo Martin McGuinness’s call for Dee Stitt to reconsider his role as Chief Executive with Charter NI.

The organisation and indeed the Executive is facing greatly increased pressure over the ongoing Charter NI debacle and the Social Investment Fund as a whole.

Arlene Foster said, “This man is an employee of Charter NI and they have to deal with him as they see fit, it would be wrong for me to intervene in all of the different organisations that exist across Northern Ireland.”



DUP’s Jimmy Spratt calls on Patrick Yu to resign.


DUP’s Paula Bradley calls on Jennifer McCann to resign.


DUP call for David Trimble to resign.


DUP’s Jim Shannon calls for Mary McArdle to resign.


DUP call for Peter Hain to resign.


DUP’s Ian McCrea calls on Francie Molloy to resign.

And the First Minister herself isn’t averse to making suggestions or calls on employment matters outside of her control…


Arlene Foster calls for Máirtín Ó Muilleoir to step aside.

But once again, Arlene Foster said, “…it would be wrong for me to intervene in all of the different organisations that exist across Northern Ireland.”

Kris tweets ferociously as @belfastbarman and runs an associated site, www.belfastbarman.com where he occasionally opines his views. He lived abroad for a while and as such, feels he will never really ‘get’ this place. Formerly a barman, he regularly broke the cardinal rules of, “No politics or religion in the pub,” as such, he turned to writing. Previously a stand up comedian and an animal crematorium assistant, now works in marketing and is a recently joined member of the Alliance Party.

  • Zorin001
  • PeterBrown

    Kris are you seriously equating 6 of your examples calling for a politician or a political appointment special adviser to resign and a seventh public appointee to resign with demanding an employee of a prviate employer who has already been through their disciplinary process be dismissed?

    Of course if they do sack him and he no doubt succesfully takes Charter NI up for unfair dismissal will OFM DFM be writing the cheque for that too?

  • Belfast Barman(ager)

    Dismissal wasn’t mentioned PeterBrown.

    I’m saying that Arlene said “…they should deal with him as they see fit, it would be wrong for me to intervene…”
    Which is absolutely fair enough. Except her party does pass comment such as Martin McGuinness has on Dee Stitt, time and time again. Jeffrey has had his say on it also.
    Charter NI, like NICEM, are charity/non profit organisations that received a lot of public money.

    If your policy is to not call for people to resign, then that’s fine – but these examples might show a bit of an absence of form.

    I’m not sure where your sacking comment came from. That wasn’t even discussed. However one could posit that if he was sacked, bringing the organisation into disrepute would be a tough reason for an unfair dismissal tribunal to find fault with.

  • PeterBrown

    The sacking comment came from among others Stephen Farry’s interview on Nolan – only one of the other calls you cite is even lossely comparable and that is Patrick Yu (perhaps closely followed by Mary McArdle but the others are all completely different).

    He had not already been disciplined by his employer (nor was he ever disciplined even after his apology & retraction). So you have one example not seven and it is not a direct paralell.

    In relation to the sacking he has already received a final written warning and for that to be rescinded and for him to be dismissed as a result of external interference would almost inevitably be unfair dismissal.

  • Belfast Barman(ager)

    I’m really not sure where this dismissal part you’re on about is coming from PeterBrown.

    ” it would be wrong for me to intervene in all of the different organisations that exist across Northern Ireland.”

    That’s all this article is positing.

    “it would be wrong for me to intervene in all of the different organisations that exist across Northern Ireland.”

    Her colleagues have a history of doing just that, and in fact Jeffrey Donaldson has done precisely what Arlene won’t on this issue.

    Either the DUP won’t pass comment on employment matters or decisions that exist in all of the different organisations across Northern Ireland…. or they will. This is nothing more, nothing less.

    I eagerly await your response with another reference to dismissal.

  • Belfast Barman(ager)

    “Arlene Foster refused to echo Martin McGuinness’s call for DEE STITT TO RECONSIDER HIS ROLE”

    Jimmy Spratt calls on Patrick Yu TO RESIGN.

    Paula Bradley calls on Jennifer McCann TO RESIGN.

    Jim Shannon calls for Mary McCardle TO RESIGN.

    DUP call for Peter Hain TO RESIGN.

    Ian McCrea calls on Francie Mollow TO RESIGN.

    Mairtín Ó Muilleoir to STEP ASIDE.

    PeterBrown, Dismissal isn’t even close to being discussed here.

  • mickfealty

    So, it might help Peter and the rest of us if you would make clearer what your core point is Kris?

  • PeterBrown

    The references with the exception of Yu and McArdle are to the resignation of politicians from politically elected or nominated posts not employees from employment – most of the examples are therefore irrelevant and the two that are do not involve employees who have been dealt with under the employers disciplinary procedure. They could call on him to resign but cannot and should not (nor should Charter heed calls from anyone) call for him to be dismissed (Alliance did call for that though appear to be in full retreat). We can perhaps agree that she can address him direct but she cannot address his employers – that is the distinction that I am making (DFM goes as far as anyone can go).Sorry initially posted while you were posting Mick so I ignored you but hopefuly this helps!

  • PeterBrown

    Also Yu apologises (a la Stitt) everyone starts muttering nothing to see here and moves on….compare and contrast?

  • mickfealty

    I started to write something about this this morning, then when I started to look at it in detail I began to lose the will to live.

  • Declan Doyle

    His core point is Crystal clear.

  • mickfealty

    Oh yes, the *singular* hypocrisy of the DUP? Silly me. What could I have missed?

  • Belfast Barman(ager)

    DUP members, as evidenced here, are often quick to call for others to resign, but in this case, its a possible error on their part that has led to the current situation – so calling for a resignation might breach the concept of papal infallibility.

  • Belfast Barman(ager)


  • ted hagan

    I must say Stephen Nolan deserves full credit for highlighting this scandal. No one elee is digging like he’s digging and demanding answers. It’s absolutely disgraceful what’s going on with Dee Stitt; It shames the DUP, it shames Sinn Fein. Martin McGuinness , if he he had balls, should be demanding heads on a plate, but then we all know why he isn’t..
    As I say Fair play to Stepehn Nolan. And incidentally for Mike Nesbitt, who is also showing principled leadership as well.

  • Granni Trixie

    Surely this is much more than ‘an employment matter’ concerning an individual bringing his employer into disrepute – it’s about the original appointment procedures which put him in charge in the first place and lack of proper processes in grantmaking. I think it is fair enough to say the FM is guilty by association given she has been sticking up for the project and its CE – the photo “opportunities” don’t help.

    I wonder if Arlene has ever heard of the Nolan Principles?

  • Granni Trixie

    Let me remind you also that Nolan is also one of the few to take up the issue of punishment beatings – something which makes most people including journalists look the other way.

  • Brendan Heading

    Just a few things to contrast off the top of my head.

    Stitt described himself as a “brigadier” and says that his “band” is “homeland security for North Down”

    The BBC news openly names Stitt as a “UDA leader” (not alleged UDA leader, or former UDA leader)

    The Sunday Life claims that the UDA are controlling the illegal drugs trade in North Down

  • PeterBrown

    I missed the self professed “brigadier” and can;t find the full Guardian interview online – is there a link for that Brendan?
    Also not sure the BBC and Sunday Life carry much weight if there is a judicial review as to why Chartter NI is denied funding – though are you suggesting that no individual or group including any current / ex paramilitary should get any public funds or where exactly are you drawing the line?

  • PeterBrown

    Singular in the sense that you are pointing out the FM’s failure to call on him to resign when DFM is equally responsible for that appointment (though has called for him to resign) and yet he and his party colleagues have equally shady pasts and in some cases presents and have control of even greater amounts of public money? For example I assume SIF extends into West Belfast as well as East – who is involved in its administration?

  • PeterBrown

    Absolutely Granni the scandal and hypocrisy here is not the FM not calling on him to resign but how the SIF slush fund was established and who (in every area) is administering it and that encompasses both FM and DFM…

  • Brendan Heading

    You asked to compare and contrast between Stitt and Patrick Yu, Peter. Patrick Yu made an undiplomatic remark and apologised for it.

    The issue with Dee Stitt is in an entirely different order and it’s fascinating watching you tie yourself in knots trying to make excuses for it.

  • PeterBrown

    I’ll assume form the lack of response that he never actually said that and that your position in relation to funding paramilitaries is too ambiguous to commit to writing. Stitt has apologised too – why is his remark of a different order? Arguably Yu’s were more serious as he tarred an entire community as racist?

    The issue is that SIF which is a joint initiative between DUP and SF has been exposed as (yet) a(nother) paramilitary slush fund and everyone is concentrating their fire on one aspect of it…

    If I an tying myself in knots at least I am doing it honestly and not making accusations up!

  • Granni Trixie

    I thought it was pretty well established in prictice in NI that EX paramilitaries in high positions Ok but not necessarily if they demonstrate that they are not EX. I see the McArdle case as in a different category because of the circs of the case and out of respect to victim/survivors.

    I also find it a forward step -again in practice – that people in NI seem to accept that it’s not on that the children of paramilitaries cannot take their place in public life on their own merit without having the deal with stigma because of a parent.

  • PeterBrown

    I suppose it depends how you define “ex”?

  • Brendan Heading

    Arguably Yu’s were more serious as he tarred an entire community as racist?

    Yes. because after all, tarring an entire community as racist (and then apologising for it) is far worse than drug dealing, racketeering and general criminality.

  • PeterBrown

    This issue is about what Stitt said not about allegations (including yours which interestingly you still haven’t corroborated – can you corroborate it?) and what he said was you have accepted by implication at least not as serious as Yu’s comments.

    What Stitt does outside work for Charter NI is relevant only to the extent that it is for every other current or ex (which is I understand however cynical both if us might be in the Gerry was never in the Ra sense his stated position) paramilitary and you have yet to clarify what is an acceptable level of violence / drug dealing / rackateering / fuel smuggling & laundering / illegal dumping. Care to set out your stall on that? Personally i wouldn’t give any of them a penny what about you?