29/09/2010

DUP Continues McGimpsey Attack

There has been continuing acrimony in the Stormont Assembly after a DUP Minister this week accused an Ulster Unionist fellow Minister of setting an "extremely dangerous precedent" suggesting that he was breaching protocol in "picking and choosing when (he) came to this House".

On Tuesday, Michael McGimpsey, the Health Minister (pictured), formally apologised to the Assembly for an error he made while answering questions about the Donagh child sex abuse case. He wrongly told MLAs that a doctor who gave evidence in the court case was not a health service employee.

Mr McGimpsey said it had been a genuine mistake for which he took full responsibility.

But, he also said he had wanted to make the statement on Monday but had to delay it because he was waiting on legal advice.
News Image
That didn't stop criticism of Mr McGimpsey's 'failure' to show up on Monday to apologise for misleading the Assembly a day earlier and this was met with an angry response from the DUP Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Arlene Foster.

Mrs Foster said it had set "an extremely dangerous precedent so that ministers can pick and choose when they come to this House".

The DUP has already called for Mr McGimpsey to resign over the incorrect information he had given to the Assembly.

Controversy has surrounded how the authorities dealt with two brothers who were deemed mentally unfit to stand trial for sexually abusing children.

James and Owen Roe McDermott were allowed to return to live in the Co Fermanagh village where the abuse had been carried out between 1969 and 2002.

See: Calls For Combined Justice And Health Summit Over Donagh Brothers Abuse Case

(BMcC/KMcA)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

19 March 2020
Covid-19: Surge Plan Measures Revealed
The Department of Health is implementing a number of surge plan measures to manage the growing transmission of Covid-19 across Northern Ireland. Two key measures in the plan are the purchase of 40 new ventilators to boost availability to 179 by the end of March and the acceleration of testing to 800 per day.
11 March 2020
Belfast Learning Festival To Focus On Mental Health
The tools needed for positive mental health and wellbeing will be the focus of this year's Belfast Festival of Learning.
23 March 2020
Covid-19: Cases Rise As More People Are Tested
Testing in Northern Ireland has resulted in 20 new cases of coronavirus, bringing totals in the region to 148. An elderly individual yesterday became the second person to lose their life after testing positive for Covid-19. The patient had an underlying medical condition and was receiving treatment in hospital.
08 June 2009
Fourth Swine Flu Case Diagnosed In Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland has registered the fourth confirmed case of swine flu. The man who yesterday tested positive had recently returned from Florida. He is being treated with anti-virals, and is recovering well. Those that have been in close contact with him have also been receiving the treatment.
06 June 2007
McGimpsey sets targets for language therapy
The NI Assembly Health Minister has announced measures to help reduce the length of time children wait for speech and language assessments and therapy. Speaking during a debate in the Assembly, Health Minister Michael McGimpsey announced an assessment and treatment target of 26 weeks by March 2008 and 13 weeks by March 2009.