Dublin city manager wants Temple Bar Cultural Trust directors to resign soon

Cllr Mannix Flynn said he has no intention of resigning

Mannix Flynn: will not resign as a director of TBCT until there was “full disclosure” of a range of financial and other matters that “need to be spelled out in the interests of transparency”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne


Dublin city manager Owen Keegan, sole shareholder of Temple Bar Cultural Trust (TBCT), has informed city councillors that he intends to "accelerate" its winding down by "inviting" the current directors to resign after their next board meeting.

But Cllr Mannix Flynn (Ind) told The Irish Times he has no intention of resigning as a director of TBCT until there was "full disclosure" of a range of financial and other matters that "need to be spelled out in the interests of transparency".

He called for a full audits of expenditure on the €3.5 million “rainscreen” project in Meeting House Square and the use of company credit cards for personal expenditure as well as the fees paid to consultants and details of TBCT’s property portfolio.

Cllr Flynn also wants disclosure of full details of the severance package agreed by TBCT chairman Dáithí Ó Ceallaigh with former chief executive Dermot McLaughlin, who had threatened legal proceedings to prevent the directors holding a disciplinary hearing.

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In his report on the “transition” of TBCT to the city council, Mr Keegan makes no reference to any of these issues, other than saying the board “had to deal with a number of very difficult legacy governance issues [that had] imposed a significant burden on directors”.

He recalls that the company’s board – now dominated by city council officials – had “unanimously voted to begin the process of winding down” the company on April 10th last and that “considerable progress” had been made in advancing this transition.

A “New Temple Bar” project team had been appointed to “shadow TBCT permanent and contract staff in preparation for the formal dissolution of the company”, he says, adding this would require legislation – expected later in 2014.

The project is “a flag of convenience for the city council’s operations in Temple Bar, which will replace TBCT pending full transition” to the council, Mr Keegan explains.

Frank McDonald

Frank McDonald

Frank McDonald, a contributor to The Irish Times, is the newspaper's former environment editor