Sinn Féin MLA is director of group found to have discriminated against job applicant
A NEWLY appointed Sinn Féin MLA is a director of an organisation that was found to have unlawfully discriminated against a job applicant because of his political opinion.
Community worker Karen Mullan was on Monday selected to replace Elisha McCallion as a Sinn Féin assembly member for Foyle.
Ms Mullan is a director of Waterside Neighbourhood Partnership (WNP), a Derry-based community group.
Earlier this year it was ordered to pay almost £11,000 to a community worker after a fair employment tribunal found he had been turned down for a job because of his political views.
Gary McClean was not offered the post of community development officer despite being the highest-scoring candidate in interviews.
The tribunal heard that McClean described himself as a socialist, and would have been considered locally as an "Eamonn McCann type of person".
He was also critical of what he perceived as a Sinn Féin-DUP "carve-up" of segregated and disadvantaged communities.
Ms Mullan was not on the interview panel, but was among those who agreed that the job would be re-advertised.
Giving evidence to the tribunal, she said an interview panellist had told her they had been bullied into giving a better score.
However, the tribunal said her evidence "lacked credibility" as her claims were not contained in her written evidence and only emerged during cross-examination.
At the time Mr McClean said he hoped his case would show the need for greater transparency and accountability in community-sector appointments.
WNP said it did not believe it had discriminated on political grounds, but has adjusted its recruitment procedures.