Northern Ireland news

Arts Council chief executive sues over age discrimination

Arts Council chief executive Roisin McDonough. Picture by Hugh Russell

THE CHIEF executive of the Arts Council has launched legal proceedings against her employer and the chairman of the organisation's board.

Roisin McDonough is also suing the Department for Communities over age discrimination.

The legal action comes just months after the Arts Council's board passed two votes of no confidence in its chairman John Edmund.

Mr Edmund, a former marketing consultant, was appointed in 2016 by the then DUP minister for communities Paul Givan.

Mr Edmund has faced calls to quit after saying the north's arts groups were too dependent on government funds. He told January's Arts and Business awards ceremony in Belfast that the arts should be run more like a business.

From Bangor in Co Down, Ms McDonough was appointed Arts Council chief executive in 2000.

Her son, Emmet McDonough-Brown, is an Alliance representative on Belfast City Council.

The Department for the Economy yesterday confirmed that she had begun proceedings through the Industrial Tribunal against Mr Edmund, Arts Council NI and the Department for the Communities on the basis of age discrimination.

The Arts Council declined to comment.

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