Archive - October 2014

Welfare Reform - The Facts

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"This needs sorted and quickly.  If we cannot reach agreement on welfare reform, then I fear for the consequences in Northern Ireland.  It is all very well for Gerry Adams to say that he will collapse the Assembly and Executive before agreeing to welfare reform.  However, such a collapse will create a political vacuum and usher in Direct Rule - a form of governance in which none of us will have a say in our future.  Ironically a Direct Rule that will see an even more austere version of welfare reform imposed upon us.  The men of violence will move quickly to fill the vacuum created by a failure of political leadership.  Is that really what Sinn Fein want?  These are critical days.  Sinn Fein must chose between Louth and Belfast, between fiction and reality, between a shared future and a return to a violent past."

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We have to find a better way to deal with our troubled past

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The latest revelation that the Police Ombudsman is taking the Chief Constable to court over the release of information related to past killings, coming on top of the debacle over letters issued by the NIO to so-called 'on the runs', serves to highlight again the need to find a better way to deal with all of the issues related to our troubled past in Northern Ireland.

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Welcome Historic Royal Palaces to Hillsborough but saddened by loss of Praxis Secret Garden Project

Posted on in Local News

I welcome the decision to transfer the management of Hillsborough castle to Historic Royal Palaces.  This will really help to put Hillsborough on the map as a top visitor attraction in Northern Ireland and will open up the Castle and its beautiful grounds to the public.  However, it is sad that this change has necessitated the closure of the Praxis Secret Garden and Coffee Shop in the gounds of Hillsborough Castle.

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Military Veterans Report by Lord Ashcroft

Posted on in Westminster

As a member of the Defence Select Committee in the House of Commons, I welcome the publication of the report by Lord Ashcroft on the review of the transitioning process for Armed Forces personnel moving from their military careers to civilian life at the end of their service. 

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