Monday, 14 December 2009

O'Muilleoir and equality

On Tuesday 8 December Mairtin O'Muilleoir, the West Belfast newspaper publisher and former Sinn Fein councillor, hosted an event in New York City Hall to mark 25 years of the MacBride Principles.  It was entitled 'Building on MacBride' and was sponsored by the Irish Echo newspaper which is part of O'Muilleoir's Belfast Media Group.

Also taking part were former Comptroller Liz Holtzman, Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly, trade unionist Inez McCormack, Speaker Christine Quinn, Consul General of Ireland Niall Burgess, and Comptroller of New York State Tom DiNapoli.

The MacBride Principles were named after Sean MacBride, a former chief-of-staff of the IRA, and were launched in November 1984.  They were designed as a corporate code of conduct for American companies investing in Northern Ireland and the first of the nine principles was: Increasing the representation of individuals from under-represented religious groups in the workforce including managerial, supervisory, administrative, clerical and technical jobs.

John Burns, writing in the Sunday Times (13 December 2009) commented on the event and said:
Sadly, there was no time to address the issue of Catholic and Protestant balance at O'Muilleoir's own Belfast Media Group, which published newspapers across the city.
Questions submitted to his website on the matter are deleted without appearing.
It would indeed be interesting to know the employment pattern in the Belfast Media Group, which includes the Andersonstown News, South Belfast News and North Belfast News, as well as the Irish Echo!

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