TUV Leader Jim Allister has launched a barrage of questions about the appointment of influential figures in Londonderry’s City of Culture project and at Ilex.
He has submitted formal, written questions to the First and deputy First Ministers Office regarding the appointment of former City of Culture boss Dermot McLaughlin.
Mr Allister asked “what regard” was given by Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness to a highly critical 2011 report (Latitude Report) into Temple Bar Cultural Trust, before Mr McLaughlin was appointed in Londonderry, or whether their department (OFMDFM) was even “aware of the content” of the report at the time. He also quizzed OFMDFM on the appointment of Matt McNulty as Acting Chair of Ilex. Mr McNulty is a former chair of TBCT.
Dermot McLaughlin resigned from his post as ‘Project Director’ of UK City of Culture 2013 earlier this year for personal reasons, and went back Temple Bar Cultural Trust from which he had been seconded.
Mr McLaughlin is Chief Executive of that body though he has been suspended without prejudice from the role.
Temple Bar Cultural Trust is now being wound up after a series of damaging reports into its governance.
Mr Allister is also grilling Northern Ireland’s two most senior politicians as to what role their department had in Mr McLaughlin’s appointment, and what role the Strategic Investment Board (SIB) had in his appointment.
The Strategic Investment Board is overseen by OFMDFM.
He also quizzed Messrs Robinson and McGuinness on the role of OFMDFM and SIB in the appointment of Mr Matt McNulty as Acting Chair of ILEX - Londonderry’s urban regeneration company. Mr McNulty is a former chair of Temple Bar Cultural Trust.
TUV Leader Jim Allister also asked the First and deputy First Ministers to explain the role performed by Mr Paul Priestly in respect of the Strategic Investment Board; and to detail the process and timing of his recruitment.
The questions are due to be answered by September 17.