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A senior Northern Ireland civil servant was paid £10,000 compensation because he was offended at having to walk past portraits of The Queen and Prince Philip, it has been claimed.
Lee Hegarty, who had been working for the Northern Ireland Office for around 20 years at the time, is said to have cited Human Rights legislation claiming it was unfair for him to have to work in a place where he was offended by such portraits.
Episode - Ulster - Unionist - Party - MP
The 'scandalous episode' was exposed by former Ulster Unionist party MP Lord Maginnis on Wednesday, as he spoke in the House of Lords during a debate on the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill.
Lord Maginnis, using the episode to criticise both the Northern Ireland Office and the Conservative Government, also revealed that the portraits had been removed and that one was replaced with a photograph of the Queen shaking hands in Belfast with Martin McGuinness, the late Sinn Féin deputy first minister.
Lords - Lee - Hegarty - Portrait - Queen
He told the Lords: 'Mr Lee Hegarty was consulted on what should replace them. He suggested that the portrait of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh be removed and that photographs of - at best - the Queen meeting people during engagements in Northern Ireland be put in their place.'
Lord Maginnis also revealed that Mr Hegarty had now gone on to secure a position at the Northern Ireland Parades Commission, a body that has angered unionists by banning and redirecting marches.
Use - Picture - Queen - Hands
He noted that he did not mind the use of a picture of the Queen shaking hands...
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