Downey to give evidence today at tribunal

Former City of Culture marketing guru Garbhan Downey will now start giving evidence this morning at the tribunal sitting in judgement on his dismissal.

Mr Downey is claiming unfair dismissal from his role in charge of communications and marketing at the Culture Company.

He was fired by the company in March, five months after being controversially suspended from his position as Director of Communications and Marketing.

The tribunal at Killymeal House in Belfast hit a glitch when proceedings started yesterday afternoon.

The chairperson of the panel Mrs Orla Murray was sharply critical of Mr Downey’s legal team over a delay in the production of crucial documents related to his statement of evidence.

Proceedings were halted several times so that legal parties representing both Mr Downey and the Culture Company could try and find a way forward.

While it was suggested that Mr Downey could begin to give his evidence before the panel had the chance to fully review the relevant documents, Conor Hamill, barrister, for the Culture Company described this as “not the wisest way forward”.

“This is a really ridiculous situation,” Mr Hamill said. “And it is in no way the responsibility of the respondent in the case. We have lost a day to this tribunal and my instructing solicitor did everything in her power to deal with these problems since being made aware of them last week.”

The tribunal, which is to determine whether or not Mr Downey was unfairly dismissed from his position within Culture Company at the end of last year, was finally adjourned shortly after 3pm. yesterday.