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How qualified is McArdle for her position?

While I personally disagree with the appointment of Mary McArdle as a special adviser at Stormont, surely there is a wider issue here.

I recently advertised a job vacancy and had to go through numerous hoops to ensure it was legal and non-discriminatory. I cannot mention age, sex or religion among a host of other things.

Everything must be documented and signed and all discussions accurately recorded. The interview panel must be suitably constituted to ensure a suitable mix of sex and religion, so I am not accused of bias.

Interviews must be fully annotated with each applicant's response, to the point that making eye contact with them becomes difficult, if not impossible. One thing I definitely cannot do is appoint my friend just because we did time together.

How then can a person be appointed to public office on the whim of an MLA? At the very least they should follow the same stringent processes that they legislate upon the general public and prove that the public purse is paying for suitably qualified, knowledgeable and authoritative people.

Exactly what will Ms McArdle bring to this position to justify her huge salary? And what experience has she that enables her to undertake this onerous role?

Perhaps the Equality Commission would care to investigate this appointment.

TREVOR ANDERSON

Belfast

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