Downey is dismissed from Culture Company

Garbhan Downey
Garbhan Downey

The sacked former head of marketing Derry’s 2013 City of Culture year has vowed to continue the fight to clear his name.

Garbhan Downey, the former Director of Communications and Marketing at the Culture Company, received confirmation of his sacking last week - five months after being suspended from the position.

He had been suspended in early October when Derry City Council assumed control of the PR and marketing for 2013.

At that time, Mr Downey voiced concern at the transfer of its marketing functions and budget and rejected council claims that the transfer was related to the performance of the Marketing Department.

Mr Downey’s solicitor Des Doherty said his client has been “punished for making his views known”.

In a statement released to the ‘Journal’, Mr Doherty said: ”He (Mr Downey) has been threatened and the subject of an oppressive process that has resulted in an outcome that is utterly disproportionate and unbalanced.

“The matter will be fought and fought with some vigour.”

Since being suspended Mr Downey’s suspension has been subject to a number of investigative and disciplinary hearings and appeals that resulted in his sacking. His solicitor yesterday claimed Mr Downey’s stance was vindicated in an ‘independent report’ since commissioned by the Culture Company.

Mr Doherty said his client will continue to fight to clear his name. He says his client welcomes “the opportunity to have the many issues surrounding his employment with the Culture Company 2013 Limited dealt with in a public forum.

“To date Culture Company and Derry City Council have with some tedious inevitability, controlled the process. Now these matters will be dealt with in a public forum and perhaps not just at an Industrial Tribunal.

“The very important issues in this case for the people of Derry will be the subject of public, media and above all, judicial scrutiny. All those persons involved will also be subject to such scrutiny.”

“A leading QC has agreed to take on my client’s case and Mr Downey’s determination in respect of the case remains unshakable.”

The Culture Company last night declined to comment on Mr Downey’s sacking.

“The Culture Company does not comment on confidential issues pertaining to the status of individual members of staff,“ a spokesman said.