Local Sinn Fein MLAs handed influential roles

May 30, 2016

All three newly elected Sinn Féin candidates from the Newry and Armagh constituency have been placed in influential positions within the Assembly, the party has announced.

Megan Fearon has been appointed an Executive Office Junior Minister, where she will work closely with Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness on fulfilling the roles of his office.

Conor Murphy has been named as Chair of the Economy Committee, which will scrutinise the work of Economy Minister Simon Hamilton, while Cathal Boylan will take on the role of Chair of the Standards and Privileges Committee, responsible for examining the conduct of Assembly members, investigating breaches and ensuring the transparency and accountability of MLAs.

Ms Fearon, as the youngest MLA and now youngest to be appointed Junior Minister, will take on a wide portfolio which includes responsibilities for good relations, promoting equality of opportunity, victims and survivors of historical institutional abuse, human rights, urban villages, the Social Investment Fund and racial equality.

She said she is “extremely proud” and looks forward to working with all her Executive colleagues “in this new era of government”.

Conor Murphy says his role will present “significant challenges” that he is looking forward to addressing.

Sinn Fein's Newry and Armagh MLAs Conor Murphy, Megan Fearon and Cathal Boylan.

“Key targets for the new Executive include growing the economy through support for indigenous businesses and attracting inward investment. My job will be to lead the scrutiny of the Department’s performance in this task, to ensure that there is a balanced spread of investment and that the All-Ireland economy can reach its full potential through support for Intertrade Ireland,” he said.

“Tourism will also form a big part of our plans for economic growth and we need to ensure Tourism Ireland successfully promotes the entire island and that local providers receive the necessary assistance from the Department.”

Mr Murphy says he will ensure the Economy department develops sustainable energy policies to replace schemes that have recently ended and will lead the Committee “in engagement with all sectors that contribute to the economy and giving them a voice in the strategies that are being developed to secure sustainable economic growth”.