Belfast Telegraph

Department says sorry to Northern Ireland Water boss sacked by minister

By Noel McAdam

A government department has apologised to a former director of Northern Ireland Water sacked by a former minister three years ago.

Despite the apology, no damages are to be paid to Declan Gormley under the terms of a settlement with the Department of Regional Development (DRD), which will meet his legal costs.

Current minister, Ulster Unionist Danny Kennedy, also clashed with his predecessor, Sinn Fein’s Conor Murphy, who refused to add his voice to the apology over his decision to dismiss Mr Gormley and three other directors in 2010.

Mr Murphy, the MP for Newry and Armagh, made it clear the apology was not on his behalf and accused Mr Kennedy of “political expediency”.

Mr Gormley, a businessman from Claudy, was dismissed from his job by Mr Murphy along with three other non-executive directors in March 2010 following an independent review team’s investigation into the awarding of contracts. DRD was the sole shareholder in the water company.

Mr Gormley sued Sinn Fein over the contents of two press releases by the party and last December a jury awarded him £80,000 in damages plus costs.

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