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Sinn Féin MLA resigns over NI Covid-19 grant money

Mary Lou McDonald confirmed the resignation of Catherine Kelly.

Mary Lou McDonald confirmed the resignation of Catherine Kelly this evening.
Mary Lou McDonald confirmed the resignation of Catherine Kelly this evening.
Image: RollingNews.ie

SINN FÉIN’s CATHERINE Kelly has resigned as an MLA, the latest party official to step down over the failure to return £10,000 payments from an emergency Covid-19 fund. 

In a statement this afternoon, Sinn Féin’s leader Mary Lou McDonald said that she had accepted Kelly’s resignation. 

She said that Kelly, an MLA for West Tyrone, “is a signatory to an account into which a small business grant of €10,000 was lodged in error”. 

“The grant was unsolicited and has been repaid in full. The failure to return the grant immediately is unacceptable. Catherine fully accepts that she did not discharge her duties as a public representative in this regard,” McDonald said. 

Earlier this week, Sinn Féin Senator and former MP Elisha McCallion, as well as two other officials, resigned due to the failure to return money from the scheme. 

This scheme was put in place to help small businesses affected by Covid-19. It opened up for applications in March and closed at the end of May. The offices of MPs and MLAs were ineligible for the Covid-19 scheme.

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McDonald said that she wanted to again “acknowledge and apologise for the clear failure to immediately reimburse public money”. 

She also said that the party’s “examination of this matter is now complete”. 

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