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Sheridan story is blown out of all proportion

I READ with grave reservations your article on Lynn Sheridan, in which it is wrongly claimed that she was contracted by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (News, June 9).

No such contract with her exists. The contract is with her employers, Peninsula, which specialises in advising upon employment law. Mrs Sheridan's brief had absolutely nothing at all to do with the operations of the commission in relation to human rights, whether of the elderly or any other disadvantaged section of the community.

Mrs Sheridan's role was simply to advise the commission's director on how to implement, within employment law, the cuts which the commission, like many other publicly-funded bodies, will be required to make.

In this context, to dredge up totally irrelevant incidents of her past to give colour to what is, in essence, a non-story does little credit to the ethics of journalism.

Having perused the documentation relating to the charges, I considered there were various questions as to the justice and validity of the UK Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting's findings.

My subsequent assessment of her personality and character, over many years, has done nothing but confirm my reservations.

In the above circumstances, I find the substance, format, and prominence of this non-story is in itself a violation of her human rights, given the current redemption of those guilty of murder.

ROBERT McCARTNEY QC

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