Temple Bar culture chief gets 'secret pay-off'
THE suspended boss of Temple Bar Cultural Trust is to leave the company after agreeing a "secret pay-off" with Dublin city chiefs.
Dermot McLaughlin negotiated an undisclosed remuneration package on Tuesday night following six hours of discussions.
He is to formally depart the company on December 31 after being embroiled in a series of highly damaging controversies.
However, the news of the deal has sparked fury among board members who were unaware that the negotiations were taking place.
Mr McLaughlin was suspended from the company earlier this year after he allegedly offered staff redundancy packages without its consent.
He formally launched legal proceedings against the company and its entire board, including Lord Mayor Oisin Quinn, in a bid to halt disciplinary proceedings.
However, despite beginning a disciplinary process against Mr McLaughlin, taxpayers have been left footing his remuneration package.
Board members, who have previously been warned about engaging with the media on issues relating to the company, are furious at the deal.
Dublin City Council and board member Mannix Flynn described the package as a "golden handshake" that is shrouded in secrecy.
"This is taxpayers' money and the public have an absolute right to know what has been paid to a man who has been at the centre of so many storms," he told the Irish Independent.
"This secret payoff must be made public in the interests of full transparency and accountability."
Mr Flynn said the deal and other issues surrounding the company's finances warrant the need for an independent inquiry.
A company spokesman confirmed that a remuneration package was struck with Mr McLaughlin but refused to provide any further details.
The package was formally signed off following negotiations involving Mr McLaughlin's legal representatives, company officials and Dublin City Manager Owen Keegan.
Mr McLaughlin did not respond to a request for comment.