Page last updated at 22:36 GMT, Thursday, 19 February 2009

Sinn Fein pay £15K to settle case

Ms McGuinness lost her job Sinn Féin's Westminster office
Ms McGuinness lost her job in Sinn Féin's Westminster office

A former Sinn Féin employee has received £15,000 in settlement of a discrimination claim against the party.

Anne McGuinness, a former sister-in-law of Sinn Féin MP Martin McGuinness, was made redundant from a position based in Sinn Féin's Westminster office in 2007.

She claimed she was subsequently denied the opportunity to apply for two posts, which were both filled by younger men.

The party has agreed to pay Ms McGuinness without any admission of liability.

In a statement, Ms McGuinness said she had worked for Sinn Féin for many years.

"I am happy that this matter has now been resolved and particularly pleased that, as a result of this case, the party will now work with the Equality Commission to ensure that its policies and procedures deliver the highest standards of equality of opportunity," she said.

A Sinn Féin spokesman said that in 2007, there was "significant restructuring" of the party which involved a large number of new internal appointments.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams defends the party's decision

"The changes introduced were conducted appropriately and transparently. The correct decisions were made," he said.

He added the party would meet with the Equality Commission to "ensure ongoing compliance and effective application of the best standards in our recruitment and selection policies".

The Equality Commission said the party would "review its equal opportunities and recruitment and selection policies, practices and procedures to ensure that they are effective and conform with the law".

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