Directors facing boardroom ban seek permission to continue running businesses

Gerry Lennon

TWO former board members facing disqualification proceedings over their role in the Northern Ireland Events Company (NIEC) are to seek special permission to continue running other enterprises, the High Court in Belfast has heard.

Despite indicating they will join others in undertaking not to continue as company directors for certain periods, lawyers for Gerry Lennon and Bill

White outlined applications for leave to act in exceptional circumstances.

Mr Lennon's request relates to his position as chief executive of tourism marketing body Visit Belfast.

Final resolution of the case is now expected to take place next month.

A Stormont department had been seeking disqualification orders against the one-time representatives of NIEC, a quango set up to attract show business and sporting stars to the region.

In court it was confirmed that all but one of the 11 respondents are prepared to give pledges as an alternative remedy.

Michael Humphreys QC, representing the Department for the Economy, said: "The draft undertakings have been circulated, the forms have been sent out

and are awaiting signatures."

He told Master Kelly that Mr Lennon has applied for leave to act, while a similar application from Mr White, managing director of polling firm LucidTalk, has been "intimated".

Disqualification proceedings were brought after critical reports into the oversight and running of a body which folded back in 2007.

Last year NIEC's former chief executive Janice McAleese was banned from acting as a company director for 14 years.

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