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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Labour's Jane Dillon Byrne appointment to IMMA by Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan


Labour board appointee
A labour councillor Jane Dillon-Byrne who lost her seat in 2014 Local Elections was appointed to the board of IMMA only some a week later by the previous minister Jimmy Deenihan Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Appointments to State Boards 10 July 2014.

Dillon Byrne given seat on IMMA board By Daniel McConnell – Herald 30 June 2014

Ms Dillon Byrne was appointed on May 30, days after she lost her council seat on Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council. Her term of office is to last five years.

Deenihan appointed ex-councillor to state board a week after she lost seat in elections by Daniel McConnell - Independent - 30/06/2014
the minister, after the routine consultation with government partners, made the appointment.

Qualifications
I believe she was an art student who was involved in and sat on many arts related boards according DLR CC bio.
...Since then she has been actively involved in a range of public and semi-state bodies, including being a member of the Arts Council of Ireland for 5 years in the mid 1990’s. She has sat on the boards of NCAD and IADT in Dun Laoghaire and is currently a board member of the Pavilion Theatre and the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company. Councillor Dillon Byrne is also a founder and Board member of the Tivoli Centre in Dun Laoghaire, which provides training, counselling and support for young people.

Qualifcations cited by the Minister of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht Dail PQ 14 October 2014
Jane Dillon Byrne A former member of the Arts Council; she currently serves on the board of the Pavilion Theatre

Public advertisment
Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan 9 March 2011 – 11 July 2014

Public advertisments were for the next 12 months.

15.04.11 Minister Deenihan advertises for Board members for the National Concert Hall, Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA)
Board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art; to fill vacancies that may arise over the coming 12 month
It seems nobody was added or replaced in that time despite 67 applications being received..

04/06/2013 Minister Deenihan advertises for Board members for the Irish Museum of Modern Art .doc

Board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art; to fill vacancies that may arise over the coming 12 months

Minister Deenihan stating in November 2013 Total number of places on the board 15 Board positions currently vacant 7.

Vacancies arising between 2 June 2011 and 1 July 2014 Irish Museum of Modern Art 3

Who were those vacancies? Eamon Delaney's terms expired in May 2013 and was replaced by Emma Goltz in November 2013 and Brian McMahon's term expired in March 2014 and was replaced by Jane Dillon Byrne in June 2014. So who was the third vacancy?



IMMA board timeline

A number of board members terms expired in 2011 and 2012 but they were never replaced, the board number stayed at no more then 9 for two years until Sheila O'Regan and John McNulty were appointed.

Public Appointments System

Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Governance

National Gallery of Ireland, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Crawford Art Gallery: Summary of Reform Proposals 2012

Appointments by the Minister to the boards to draw on an independent assessment process, based on a published skills matrix to be drawn up by the Minister and managed through the Public Appointments Service.
Governance of Cultural Institutions 26 March 2013
Speech by Minister Jimmy Deenihan Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
To ensure that appointments by the Minister of the day to these boards will have regard to an independent assessment process, based on a skills matrix to be drawn up by the Minister and managed through the Public Appointments Service

New Ministers briefing Summer 2014.
Continue to work on the implementation of the Government decision on reform of the NGI, IMMA and Crawford Gallery -Heads of Bill approved by Government and submitted to Oireachtas Commmittee
I wrote a blogpost on the 2011 changes to the state board appointment process.

Taoiseach on the 2011 changes

Appointments to State Boards Tuesday, 3 May 2011.
Enda Kenny: The Government has decided that new arrangements will be put in place for the making of appointments to State boards and bodies. In future, Departments will invite expressions of interest on their websites for vacancies on the boards of bodies under their aegis. Ministers will not necessarily be confined to those who make expressions of interest, but will ensure all appointees have the relevant qualifications.
Taoiseach in 2011 said vacancies will be advertised even if the Minister doesn't pick from those replies.

IMMA Chairman Eoin McGonigal
Via FOI'd correspondence republished by Katie Hannon for Primetime we see that Eoin McGonigal wrote to the Minister on the Wednesday the 24th noting that he had been told that all future appointments would be made through the public appointmenst process, presumably in a version of this memo from 2012.

Could it happen again, even with the changes announcement by Brendan Howlin?.

Appointments made following from a publicly advertised process since 2 June 2011 Irish Museum of Modern Art 1

Only 1 person, since 2011, I presume Emma Goltz in November 2013.


Media
Cabinet flouting rules on filling state jobs Mary Regan Irish Examiner 3rd July 2014
Despite promises to cut out cronyism, coalition has a blemished record Harry McGee Irish Times 2nd October 2014

Friday, 17 October 2014

Seanad Bye-Election, IMMA correspondence



RTE
Another Friday information release, Katie Hannon of RTE PrimeTime has some of the correspondence re the John McNulty appointment, the Sunday Times had some of this information two weeks ago but RTE decided to published the raw documents released to them under Freedom of Information because thats what modern news organisation do, there is so much benefit to seeing even the most boring thing with your own eyes and allowing it to be seen.

Sarah Glennie
The IMMA director said she only found out about the appointments on the 18th, the Department told the Sunday Times that it "wrote to IMMA on September 12 notifying of the appointments" but that the director was out of office till the 18th of September, McNulty's name only came out in the press the night before, Businessman who lost council election to run for the Seanad (23:17pm on 17th September).
I was notified by the Department via a phone call from Kevin Lonergan on September 18th that two new appointments had been made to the IMMA Board, John McNulty and Sheila O’Regan. We have not received anything in writing about this or any communication from the Minister’s office but I was told by both Kevin and Niall O’Donnchu that the appointments had been accepted and confirmed.
Email: IMMA director Sarah Glennie. New board members - 23rd September

Gerard Craughwell
Gerard Craughwell and John McNulty met the Seanad Cleark on Monday the 22nd of September to rule that their nominations were valid, Gerard Craughwell had decided to object to John McNulty's nomination but then withdrew his objection on learning that John McNulty was a board member of IMMA,



It was that evening we searched and inquired about his position on IMMA, and I emailed IMMA who sent me a list which didn't included John McNulty or Shiela O'Regan, I then emailed the Department who forwarded me a press release, about the 12th of September appointments, that they may have been sending to journalists like Gavan Reilly who were inquiring into it too.

The IMMA director and board chairman Eoin McGonigal even met the Minister on the 18th while meeting leaders of cultural institutions at a Council of National Cultural Institutions meeting, they didn't discuss the appointments.


The press release sent out by the Department of Arts claims that Heather Humphreys decided to appoint two board after a visit to IMMA,

The Minister made an unannounced visit during August with the Commissioners of OPW and met Gale briefly. Myself and Eoin did not meet her. We met her very briefly last Thursday at the CNCI meeting with Chairs and Directors of the CNCI and this matter did not come up.

Eoin McGonigal
Eoin McGonigal wrote to the Minister on the Wednesday the 24th querying why more then 9 members of the board had been appointed when they had been told by the Department in 2012 that the board would be limited to 9 and that all future appointments would be made through the public appointmenst process. He also wrote,

I would also like to draw your attention to our Memorandum and Articles which I am also enclosing and in particular clause 21 (xi) which states and IMMA Director’s must resign from the Board on receiving nomination to become a member of the Seanad. I have sent a copy of the Memorandum and Articles of IMMA to John McNulty and drawn his attention to Article 21 Rule 9.

He even enclosed a version of this memo from 2012 about board size limits which I have shown was held at the maximum 9 for two years until just before the Seand Bye-election.

National Gallery of Ireland, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Crawford Art Gallery: Summary of Reform Proposals 2012.
The boards of the three institutions to be retained, but scaled back to a maximum of 9 members each, including the Chair.
I'd like someone to publish IMMA's Memorandum and Articles but the law is also in the National Cultural Institutions Act, 1997

Membership of either House of Oireachtas or European Parliament. 26.—(1) Where a member of a Board is— (a) nominated as a member of Seanad Éireann he or she shall thereupon cease to be a member of the Board.

John McNulty
John McNulty said he was stepping down from the board the next day on the 25th.



John McNulty was already no longer a board member as soon as he was nominated which was on the 18th of September.

Seanad Clerk
The Seanad Clerk emailed the IMMA director on 18th of September asking whether McNulty was a member of the board, which he was because Humphreys deemed it so, the director replied writing
I am writing to confirm that John McNulty has been appointed as a Director of the IMMA Board.
but she didn't mention to the Clerk that he had only been appointed 6 days before, and that the IMMA director had only been told by phone that day, the 18th, How long did the director know of McNulty's appointment? hours, minutes? Any lack of communication doesn't justify McNulty using a 6 day appointment as a qualification for a Seanad seat.

It seems the IMMA offices were not told by the director till the 23rd, so when they were asked on the September 22nd who was on the board the Director’s Office sent out a list that didn't include the latest two appointees.

Sheila O'Regan IMMA board member?
The department of Arts wrote to IMMA on the 2nd of October requesting them to send information on duties of IMMA board members to Sheila O'Regan, why hadn't they already done that? Why did the department have to ask. Compare that to the very welcoming message to the previous appointee Jane Dillon-Byrne.

IMMA's website still doesn't list Sheila O'Regan as a current member of the board although they do now list Jane Dillon-Byrne, haven updated the list in the last week of September. I've asked IMMA twice why Sheila O'Regan is not listed as an IMMA board member and they refuse to answer, while answering other questions (about the expiry of other board members terms). Boards have to be uneven but that's no reason Sheila O'Regan is not on the board it may mean they have to appoint another person.

My twitter account @lostexpectation is even mentioned in the email sent to board members and staff on 23rd along with news articles from Fionnan Sheahan of the Independent and Gavan Reilly of TodayFm.

Heather Humphreys
Minister for Arts Heritage and Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys was asked in the Dail by Billy Timmis TD why did the Minister for Arts Humphreys appoint more IMMA board members then promised limit of 9? Again she repeated her press release and did not say why she breached the limit the Department had instituted.

Terence Flanagan TD also asked each department,
a list of all State board appointments since general election 2011; the person who recommended each appointment; the credentials of those appointed; if the vacancy was publicly advertised; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
Heather Humphreys repeated her press released information and didn't answer most of the question, but did say that only 1 person, since 2011, I presume Emma Goltz, was appointed after a publically advertised call. It has to be noted that a Labour Party member who did not retain her council seat was also appointed to the board without an advertisement or involvement of the Public Appointments Service, as far as I know. The minister also breached her departments governance protocals in this case too.

PS

I was notified by the Department via a phone call from Kevin Lonergan on September 18th that two new appointments had been made to the IMMA Board, John McNulty and Sheila O’Regan. Several queries had been sent into our press department on that day and subsequent days asking for the list of our Board members and the list of 9 current members was sent out to all queries.

Email: IMMA director Sarah Glennie. New board members - 23rd September

Who knew John McNulty was on the IMMA board on the 18th of September but didn't say anything about it before the nominations were ruled upon on the 22nd?