Northern Ireland news

Grenfell: Cavan GAA yet to respond over Kingspan links

Supporters at Kingspan Breffni Park in Co Cavan in July. File picture by Philip Walsh

CAVAN GAA is yet to respond to queries about its relationship with Kingspan after the company was criticised by families of the Grenfell Tower victims.

Kingspan, which is based in Kingscourt, Co Cavan, sponsors the county's shirts and holds naming rights for Breffni Park.

British cabinet minister Michael Gove has written to Ulster Rugby asking it to reconsider its relationship with Kingspan.

The company is Ulster's primary shirt sponsor and holds naming rights to Ravenhill stadium in Belfast.

Earlier this month, the Mercedes Formula 1 team ended a sponsorship deal with Kingspan after the Grenfell United victims and survivors group criticised the arrangement.

In his letter to Ulster Rugby chief executive Jonny Petrie, Mr Gove pointed out that survivors and victims' families had written to the club in January "asking you to reconsider your own sponsorship agreement with Kingspan".

"I would like you to consider the evidence that has been presented to the the inquiry before deciding whether continuing with this arrangement is consistent with the values of your club," the housing minister wrote.

"I do not believe that the public across these islands will feel that it is right that a community club should risk its reputation by partnering with a company whose practices have been so seriously called into question."

Ulster Rugby has confirmed that Mr Petrie received a letter from Mr Gove.

"The information contained within will be considered as part of an existing active review, and we won't be making any further comment at this time," a spokesman said.

The Grenfell Inquiry has heard evidence criticising Kingspan's business practices, specifically how some insulation material was marketed.

The inquiry is examining how the Grenfell building was covered in flammable materials, which contributed to the spread of a blaze that destroyed the tower in June 2017, killing 72 people.

Previously Kingspan has said: "The Grenfell Tower fire was a tragedy that should never have happened, and Kingspan supports the vitally important work of the inquiry to determine what went wrong and why.

"Kingspan played no role in the design of the cladding system on Grenfell Tower, where its K15 product constituted approximately 5% of the insulation and was used as a substitute product without Kingspan's knowledge in a system that was not compliant with the buildings regulations."

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news