No signs of life at Gareth Robinson's publicity-shy PR firm

Gareth Robinson runs PR firm Verbatim Communications
Gareth Robinson runs PR firm Verbatim Communications Gareth Robinson runs PR firm Verbatim Communications

BY ITS very nature a PR firm is supposed to revel in engaging with the public - but Gareth Robinson's communications company remains oddly publicity shy.

The Irish News visited Verbatim Communications yesterday in the hope of speaking to First Minister Peter Robinson's son Gareth.

The ex-DUP councillor was unavailable for comment when contacted by the Irish News after it revealed his links to a Belfast law firm at the centre of the Nama financial scandal.

Verbatim was paid thousands of pounds by Tughans to manage an exclusive event in 2012 hosted by the solicitors' firm, where Peter Robinson was a guest speaker.

Tughans is also believed to have recommended to some of its clients to use Gareth and Verbatim.

It is understood several of the clients that took up the offer were being managed by Nama.

There were no signs of life yesterday when we called at the central Belfast address.

No-one answered the door buzzer for the fourth-floor office on High Street.

An employee of a solicitors' firm in the same building said she was unaware of the PR company.

From the rainy doorstep we phoned Verbatim but were met with a generic answering machine message that did not mention Verbatim.

Verbatim recently set up a single-page website with contact details, but no clients listed.

Gareth Robinson is not a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations or affiliated to the Association of Professional Political Consultants, the lobby industry's representative body.

Verbatim is also not listed on the website of the Public Relations Consultants Association.

The Irish News contacted the firm on Monday in an attempt to speak to Gareth.

A man who answered the phone said he was unavailable, and hung up when asked for his name.