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Anger over Dempsey's return in culture role

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 REMINDER: Noel Dempsey

REMINDER: Noel Dempsey

REMINDER: Noel Dempsey

THE appointment of former Fianna Fail minister Noel Dempsey as chairman of a company hoping to revive Temple Bar has drawn criticism from People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett.

Mr Dempsey, who earns an annual Oireachtas pension of €119,000, took up the position more than three years after stepping down as TD.

While he will earn a "nominal fee" for the role, Boyd Barrett has said the appointment would remind people of Dempsey's "massive pension pot".

The ex-Fianna Fail minister, who denied the government was holding talks with the IMF days before Ireland's bail out was announced, will now take up a position with the non-profit Temple Bar Company.

The privately owned organisation, which is completely separate to the now defunct Temple Bar Cultural Trust, said Mr Dempsey's work in the early days of the modern transformation of Temple Bar had given him "considerable experience and knowledge about the area".

"Temple Bar as a region employs 10,000 people annually and has a turnover of just under a billion euro," according to chief executive Martin Harte.

VITAL

"Most of the businesses are family-run, and it is a vital part of Dublin's economy."

But Mr Barrett said: "I think people will be aghast at his appointment and it will remind people of his massive pension pot that he and other members of the disastrous Fianna government walked away with."

Mr Dempsey, who was Environment Minister in the earlier days of the development of the Temple Bar area, said this week he was pleased to be involved with the business, cultural and voluntary sector enterprises who had all come together to advance its development.

"The group have done a number of studies on various topics and they are now looking to put some of their ideas into practice for the betterment of Temple Bar.

"They have also decided to bring in some outside people to help them realise these ambitions," he said.

The former Fianna Fail TD has been involved in public affairs consultancy since he quit national politics in 2011.

He was a TD for Meath from 1987 to 2011 and also served in a number of government departments between 1997 and 2011.

CFEEHAN@HERALD.IE


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