Magazine article Public Finance

Sinn Féin and SDLP Ministers Chosen

Magazine article Public Finance

Sinn Féin and SDLP Ministers Chosen

Article excerpt

Ministers for key positions in the revived Northern Ireland Executive have been chosen by the two republican and nationalist parties.

Sinn Féin has opted for the crucial portfolio of education, where the new minister will be Caitriona Ruane. She will oversee the abolition of the 11-plus - a decision taken by the party's previous education minister, Martin McGuinness - and introduce a replacement selection system.

Sinn Féin is opposed to academic selection, while the Democratic Unionists, whose leader Ian Paisley will become first minister, and the Ulster Unionists are strongly committed to it. Ruane will also have to decide on the detail of an extensive school closure programme.

Conor Murphy, MP for Newry and Armagh as well as an MIA, will become regional development minister. Murphy will have to either replace or try to make acceptable the highly contentious new water charges, delayed for a year through a financial settlement from the Treasury.

Michelle Gildernew, Sinn Féin MP for Fermanagh & South Tyrone, is nominated as agriculture minister, while Gerry Kelly (convicted of bombing the Old Bailey) is a junior minister in the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister. …

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