breaking news

Boardroom bans issued over Events Company collapse

January 17th, 2018 | by LCN Editor
Boardroom bans issued over Events Company collapse

Gerry Lennon, the chief executive of Visit Belfast, is among 11 directors who have agreed to accept boardroom bans.

The disqualifications are in respect of their conduct as directors of the NI Events Company, a quango which collapsed in 2007 with debts of £1.6m.

Mr Lennon (53), from Moira, has accepted a five-year disqualification.

Other figures with connections to the hospitality trade that have accepted similar bans are Alan Clarke (66), the former chief executive of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (now Tourism NI) and Catherine Williamson (52), from Belfast.

And Jim Rodgers, the former Lord Mayor of Belfast, has also been banned for five years.

The NI Events Company was set up in 1997 to organise and promote sporting, cultural and recreational events, but in November 2008 inspectors were appointed to investigate its affairs.

The NI Audit Office subsequently found that its chief executive, Janice McAleese, has been involved in fabricating documents provided to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure and to her board of directors. She had also failed to disclose a personal relationship with a contractor who had been paid £120,000 for a motocross event.

McAleese, who ran the organisation between 2003 and 2007, was disqualified two years ago for a period of 14 years.

Speaking to LCN on this issue in the middle of last year, Hospitality Ulster chief, Colin Neill said that while it was important that people were held to account in situations such as this, the proceedings against the former NI Events Company directors was “unfortunate”:

“A lot of good people trying to do good things have been caught up in this through no fault of their own,” he added. “This was a government quango that was set up with the best of intentions, but it lost its way.

“Organising big events was, and still is, a big part of what we’re doing here in Northern Ireland, but it’s unfortunate that some people have been contaminated as a result of what happened in this case.”



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *