Temple Bar Cultural Trust to be reviewed

Temple Bar in Dublin City Centre

Temple Bar Cultural Trust should be taken under the direct responsibility and control of Dublin City Council a councillor said.

Cllr Mannix Flynn (Independent), who sits as a council rep on the board of Temple Bar Cultural Trust, said he was told by the trust that it was a private company. He raised the issue at the monthly Dublin City Council meeting.

He said he has “grave concerns” that an asset worth €50 million belonging to the city could end up in the hands of a private company.

Cllr Ruairi McGinley (FG) said the original mission of the Temple Bar trust has been lost in the 20 years since it was set up. He questioned, as central government plans to reduce the number of quangos, if the trust should be integrated into the council.

Lord Mayor Gerry Breen (FG) said that there should be good corporate practice in all of the council’s subsidiaries, but said there is huge benefit to be gained to allow for smaller structures which don’t report directly to the council.

Cllr Dermot Lacey (Labour), Cllr Mary O’Shea (FG), Cllr Rebecca Moynihan (Labour) and Cllr Bill Tormey (FG) asked for the city manager to review the trust.

Cllr Lacey said the motion was “premature.” He said: “I long to see the day that all of the other quangos which are out there and rightfully part of local government structure are reintegrated, but to me it seems to be premature to adopt this motion. We’re reaching a conclusion before we have a debate.”

City manager John Tierney said he would undertake a review of the trust and report back to the councillors, no later than in six months time.

Tierney also confirmed that the trust is not a normal private company but a company created by statute with the city manager as the sole shareholder. Four councillors and two senior council managers are appointed to its board.

Cllr Mannix Flynn said he agreed to change his motion to allow for a review of the Temple Bar trust. He said he would agree on the basis that it be clarified if the trust was a private company. The city manager said: “It was the very first thing I said, it is not a private company, it is a company created by statute.”

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