Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Arts Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD says new information about the appointment of John McNulty to the board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art raises further questions about the explanation given by Arts Minister Heather Humphries about his selection for the post.
Reports this morning reveal that there was a lapse of only two days between a request being submitted to the Department of Arts querying which State boards had vacancies and Mr. McNulty’s appointment to the IMMA Board.
Deputy Ó Fearghaíl commented, “This timescale puts further strain on the explanation offered by Minister Humphries that Mr. McNulty was offered the role based on his business experience and involvement in local cultural projects. It is becoming clearer as more evidence emerges that Minister Humphries was bowing to pressure to appoint Mr. McNulty to an arts board to lend credibility to his nomination for the Seanad’s cultural and educational panel.
“Minister Humphries has been unable to provide a plausible argument for Mr. McNulty’s appointment, choosing to repeat her mantra that he was chosen for the role based “on merit”. The Minister has been at the centre of this debacle but has failed to fully explain the decision making process.
“I am once again calling on her to give a full and frank account of the process which was undertaken to appoint Mr. McNulty to the IMMA board, and to bring an end to this sorry affair, which has seen the arts community dragged into a distasteful political controversy which has Fine Gael cronyism at its core”.