TUV leader Jim Allister says he has exposed a Sinn Fein ministerial bias towards Catholic job seekers.
The former barrister said today that he has unearthed figures which reveal that Catholics were more likely to get a job under a Sinn Fein Minister than a Protestant.
The statistics were revealed in answer to questions tabled by the North Antrim MLA following a recent tribunal ruling against former Sinn Fein Department of Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy.
His first question stated: “To ask the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure to provide a breakdown of the community background of the Board members of Sport NI whom the Minister has she appointed since taking up office.”
DCAL Sinn Fein Minister Cara Ni Chuilin replied: “Since taking up office as the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure I have appointed 10 individuals with a Roman Catholic Community background, four individuals with a Protestant Community background and 1 individual whose community background is not known to the Board of Sport NI.”
In response to a question from Mr Allister about the breakdown of the community background of the Board members of Sport NI she answered:
“The Board of Sport NI currently has 8 individuals with a Roman Catholic Community background, 3 individuals with a Protestant Community background and 1 individual whose community background is not known.”
Mr Allister said he believed the figures showed Sinn Fein Ministerial bias towards the Catholic community.
“Following on from the findings of religious discrimination by the Industrial Tribunal in Lennon-v-DRD I have tried to find if a similar pattern of discrimination existed in other Departments headed by Sinn Fein/IRA Ministers.
“In July I exposed the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure as displaying anti-Protestant bias since Minister Cullan came to office.
“Figures which I extracted showed that in respect of the ministerial appointments made by her since May 2011 a Roman Catholic applicant was more than twice as likely as a Protestant applicant to be appointed.
“Of 71 Roman Catholic applicants 14 were appointed, but of 70 Protestant applicants only 6 were appointed; demonstrating a far higher ratio of selection of Roman Catholics by the Minister.
“I have now received an answer detailing the specifics of appointments made to the board of Sport NI during Minister Cullan’s tenure.
“They reveal that since coming to office the Minister has appointed 10 Roman Catholics and just 4 Protestants to the board of Sport NI.
“One individual was appointed whose community background is not known.
“The fact that a consistent pattern is evident across a number of Sinn Fein departments points to design, not accident and exposes once again the nonsense of the Republican claim that they are “building an Ireland of equals”.