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Iris whistleblower's Dublin Council role

DUBLIN City Council engaged the services of adviser to Iris Robinson, Dr Selwyn Black.

The latest revelation comes as it was confirmed that Dr Black's company, Apheideo Associates were awarded a £42,120 (€47,620) contract by Belfast City Council.

Dr Black, who revealed that Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson's wife was having an affair with teenager Kirk McCambley, was employed as a stress counsellor for workers at Belfast City Council.

Now it can be outlined that Dr Black's company, a workplace counselling team, provided an evaluation of staff support services at Dublin City Council.

"Dublin City Council engaged Apheideo Associates on an evaluation of our staff support services in 2008," a spokesman confirmed. "The council is not currently professionally engaged with Dr Black or Apheideo Associates."

However, at the time of going to print, it could not be established exactly what capacity Dr Black's company was engaged in or the value of the contract.

It is understood that Dr Black was asked to attend a meeting with Belfast City Council chiefs on Thursday.

The former RAF chaplain, who lived in Dublin in 1987, was entitled to engage in other work at the same time as being employed by Belfast City Hall.

However, Belfast City Council has in place strict guidelines obliging employees to declare any political affiliations.

His company tendered for the contract for counselling services in 2003 and the current contract runs until June 2010 in Northern Ireland, according to a spokesman for Belfast City Council.

Dr Black's solicitor said that he did not wish to make a comment on his company's contract with the city council in the Republic.

"Our client does not propose to say anything at present," his solicitor said.

The psychiatrist started working for DUP MP Iris Robinson as a political adviser in January 2008.

Dr Black is a lecturer specialising in trauma counselling and in the past he has served as a Methodist minister in Dublin and spent 10 years as a military chaplain with the Royal Air Force.

Dr Black had helped Mrs Robinson in her role on Stormont's health committee.

Mrs Robinson also sent more than 150 text messages to Dr Black over the past year, during which she outlined the development of her relationship with Kirk McCambley, who was 19 at the time.

Iris Robinson is ill at present and her husband, Peter, has stepped down from his duties as First Minister for six weeks in order to deal with family issues.

clairemurphy@herald.ie


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