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Senior Belfast City Council official Nigel Grimshaw retires 'by mutual agreement'

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Nigel Grimshaw

Nigel Grimshaw

PA

Nigel Grimshaw

Senior Belfast City Council official Nigel Grimshaw retired from the council on Friday "by mutual agreement" according to a leaked internal email. 

Mr Grimshaw - Director of City and Neighbourhood Services at the council - hit the headlines during the political storm over the council’s handling of the Roselawn cremation of IRA veteran Bobby Storey

An internal council report into the Storey funeral published in July said Mr Grimshaw made the decision to allow up 30 mourners to attend Mr Storey’s cremation “in the context of managing potential issues if numbers arrived and demands for access were made”.

Eight other families were denied the right to have up to 30 people attend cremations at Roselawn on the same day as Storey’s.

The internal council report said Mr Grimshaw acknowledged that it was “a mistake for which he takes responsibility”, and that he regretted the effect it had on the other eight families affected on the day.

In the wake of the Storey controversy it was also reported that Mr Grimshaw’s life had been threatened.

The email - signed by Chief Executive Suzanne Wylie and senior colleagues Siobhan Toland and Ryan Black - said: “We are writing to you to advise you that Nigel Grimshaw has retired by mutual agreement from the organisation as of Friday 11 September.

“On behalf of Council and CMT, we would like to thank Nigel for his service to the organisation in the four years he has worked for Belfast City Council.”

In a reference to the row over the Storey cremation, the internal email continued: “This has been a challenging time for everyone, and we want to reassure you that Elected Members and CMT are working together to resolve issues raised over the summer,”

A former police officer, Mr Grimshaw became an MBE in the 2016 New Year Honours List, and had been in post at Belfast City Council for a total of four years.

Meanwhile, Belfast City Council confirmed on Friday that it had appointed a senior barrister Peter Coll QC to lead an independent probe into the Storey cremation.

Mr Coll’s investigation is expected to take six weeks.

Belfast Telegraph