28/07/2017

Other News In Brief

Freedom Of Movement 'Important' To NI – Farry

Freedom of movement is "particularly important to the functioning of Northern Ireland", Alliance Deputy Leader and Brexit Spokesperson Stephen Farry has said.

Mr Farry was speaking after the UK government announced plans to end free movement of people in March 2019.

Mr Farry said: "With this announcement, the UK Government is taking yet another step in causing enormous damage to the UK economy and society.

"Freedom of movement is particularly important to the functioning of Northern Ireland.

"While there are hopes and expectations that the Common Travel Area will be maintained, it remains unclear how achievable preserving all of it will be in practice. But freedom of movement is much bigger than a matter for British and Irish citizens. We are very dependent on EU Nationals in a wide range of aspects of life in this region.

"A Northern Ireland Executive is best placed to speak for Northern Ireland. Important decisions are being taken as part of these Brexit negotiations without a thought or concern raised for what it will mean for everyone here. We can't rely on others to do the job we must stand up and do for ourselves."

Altnagelvin 'Symptomatic Of Historic Faults' – Durkan

Northern Ireland's healthcare system is being 'failed miserably' by the current political stagnation, SDLP MLA and Health Spokesperon Mark H Durkan.
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Mr Durkan made the comments following the closure of a number of beds, and the cancellation on non-emergency procedures, at Altnagelvin Area Hospital.

He said: "This latest ward closure and the cancellation of many patients' appointments at Altnagelvin have come as the combination of a number of factors, some of which are beyond the control of the Trust or Department but others which are recurrent.

"Issues around workforce numbers are sadly symptomatic of major historic ongoing faults in workforce planning. We have an insufficient number of qualified staff and those that we do have are overstretched. This problem is only going to become more pronounced in the future unless action is taken now.'

Mr Durkan said that patients and staff cannot afford to be let down by a failure to bring about transformation of the healthcare system but the "current political stagnation is failing them miserably".

Councillors Stage Walk Out After Sinn Féin Chair Refuses To Condemn Enniskillen Bomb

A number of councillors have walked out of a council meeting at Enniskillen Town Hall following remarks by Sinn Féin on the Enniskillen bomb.

It is understood that councillors from the DUP, UUP and SDLP left the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council meeting last night in protest at its chair, Stephen McCann had refused to condemn the 1987 IRA attack in a interview with the Impartial Reporter earlier this month.

According to reports Mr McCann was challenged about the interview before councillors left the meeting.

(MH)

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