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Northern Ireland Water chief hits out at his sacking

A board member of Northern Ireland Water (NIW), sacked over concerns about how the Government body was being run, has hit out at the decision to dismiss him.

Declan Gormley was one of three non-executive directors who were axed along with the organisation's chairman by Stormont's Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy on Friday.

The move, which was revealed by the Belfast Telegraph, came after a review highlighted alleged failings in governance arrangements within the semi-public body which oversees Northern Ireland's water supply.

The independent probe also noted that major contracts were awarded without competitive|tendering. But Mr Gormley (52) vehemently denied he had done anything wrong.

“I do not agree with the decision and believe it is unmerited and without due cause,” he said of his sacking.

“I utterly refute any wrongdoing on my behalf in discharging my duties as a non-executive |director at Northern Ireland Water during my 20 months on the Board. At all times I have acted in accordance with my responsibilities as a company director, and reiterate that I have done nothing during my period on |the Board which would merit |any sanction, never mind dismissal.”

Mr Murphy's top level cull was the latest in a series of controversies to rock NIW, with concerns over its dealings having dogged the organisation since it was set up three years ago.

A further internal probe is |now investigating if senior staff at NIW should face disciplinary |action.

Signalling his willingness to answer any questions about his conduct at NIW, Mr Gormley said it was matter of great regret that he had been forced to come out and defend his reputation.

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