Dublin City Council has moved to take control of Temple Bar Cultural Trust with the appointment of four senior officials to its board, including head of finance Cathy Quinn.
The other new directors are the council's chief valuer, David Garvey, whose department is in the process of taking control of the trust's €9.3 million property portfolio in the area; Paul Klegg, principal officer for arts and culture; and arts officer Ray Yeates.
Mr Yeates had served as acting chief executive while former trust chief Dermot McLaughlin was on secondment to Derry UK City of Culture as project director. Mr McLaughlin returned to his post last Tuesday, a month after abruptly resigning from Derry.
It is expected that a member of the city council will be appointed to the company's board next Monday to fill a vacancy caused by the resignation of artist and activist Cllr Mannix Flynn (Ind), who said the trust was now "a wreck" and needed to be wound up.
The board subsequently decided to follow this advice, in line with one of the key recommendations of a 2011 report by Latitude consultants, commissioned by former Dublin city manager John Tierney, who recently left to become chief executive of Irish Water.
The council's internal audit department is examining company credit card usage during 2012, following completion of a highly critical report on the trust's corporate governance, while the findings of this report are being reviewed by former Ibec chief Turlough O'Sullivan.
Arts organisations in Temple Bar yesterday met acting Dublin city manager Philip Maguire, along with Mr Yeates, to seek assurances about their future when the council takes over the trust's functions, which include promotion of the area as "Dublin's Cultural Quarter".
Mr Maguire made it clear in advance of the meeting that “any matters relating to Temple Bar Cultural Trust including the Latitude report, the wind-up of the company, the internal audit report, leases/licences or any other business transactions . . . are strictly off the agenda”.
He explained that all matters relating to the trust were “solely under the remit” of its board of directors “and I as shareholder cannot and will not in any way intervene in these matters”. The “appropriate person to approach” was the company’s chairman, Daithí Ó Ceallaigh.