Tuesday 21 November 2017

Bitter row on Temple Bar trust revealed

THE troubled Temple Bar Cultural Trust (TBCT) has been rocked by a bitter row which saw a board meeting suspended after it descended into chaos.

The taxpayer has now footed the bill for an independent mediator appointed to repair the highly damaged relationship between the trust's chief executive and a board member.

Documents obtained by the Herald under the Freedom of Information Act lay bare the icy tensions that exist among the board of the organisation.

We can reveal today:

•A board meeting last November was suspended after a blazing row between chief executive Dermot McLaughlin and board member Mannix Flynn:

•Mr McLaughlin sent a letter to Mr Flynn accusing him of bullying a staff member of TBCT. The letter was later withdrawn following a request by the TBCT board:

•Both men were excluded for a time from a meeting in March as the board discussed whether any action should be taken:

•One board member, Declan Wallace, called on Mr McLaughlin to be censured for writing the letter but this was rejected by then chairman Matt McNulty:

• Mr McLaughlin accused Mr Flynn of engaging in "unacceptable" and "negative" behaviour as well as displaying "regular impatient outbursts of aggression" according to the minutes:

•City manager John Tierney appointed the council's former human resources manager Frank Kelly to try to resolve the dispute between the pair.

The feud caused a major divide among the board of the organisation -- whose sole shareholder is the city council.

Mr McLaughlin and Mr Flynn declined to comment.

Dublin City Council has paid over €45,000 to TBCT over the past two years.

The council says a "mediation process" has now begun.


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