Belfast Telegraph

Killer Mary McArdle makes public bow in Dublin

By Catherine Lynagh

A controversial Stormont special adviser who was convicted of murdering a magistrate's daughter in the 1980s has appeared in public for the first time since a row over her appointment.

Mary McArdle yesterday arrived with her ministerial boss, Sinn Fein Culture Minister Caral Ni Chuilin, for the North-South Ministerial Council meeting at Farmleigh, in Dublin's Phoenix Park.

The former IRA member was seen entering the meeting beside Caral Ni Chuilin.

Ms McArdle was part of an IRA gang which ambushed magistrate Tom Travers and his family as they left Mass, shooting his daughter Mary dead.

Since her appointment Ann Travers, Mary's sister, has vowed that she will continue a high-profile campaign until Ms McArdle resigns from her role.

The meeting in Dublin, was the first since the Republic’s General Election in February and Assembly election last month.

After the meeting First Minister Peter Robinson confirmed he had instructed Finance Minister Sammy Wilson to review the process of appointing special advisers.

Mr Robinson announced the review last week and previously described the appointment as “insensitive and a mistake”.

Yesterday’s meeting dealt with a number of issues including the controversial dualling of the proposed A5 road between Londonderry and Aughnacloy and the decision to give the go-ahead to a radiotherapy centre at Altnagelvin

Hospital. In a joint Press conference after the NSMC, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said his government backed a reduction in the corporation tax rate in Northern Ireland.

Mr Kenny said he envisaged an enhanced role for cross-border bodies to secure savings for both the Republic and Northern Ireland.

The Taoiseach said last month's State visit by the Queen had |transformed the mood while the recent elections of new administrations on the island would allow better co-operation.

“This is a period where the new Assembly and government here have a period of stability in electoral terms in front of them, which gives us an opportunity to really get down to business in terms of the cross-border bodies and the work that they do,” he said.

Background

Mary McArdle (46) was one of an IRA gang who ambushed Tom Travers and his family as they left Mass in south Belfast in April 1984. Mary Travers, aged 22, was killed. Last month Sinn Fein appointed Ms McArdle special adviser to Culture Minister Caral Ni Chuilin. Mary Travers’ sister Ann has spoken out against the appointment and urged Ms McArdle to resign.

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