John McNulty steps down from IMMA board

Fine Gael's Seanad nominee has announced he is stepping down from the IMMA board with immediate effect.

John McNulty steps down from IMMA board

Fine Gael's Seanad nominee has announced he is stepping down from the IMMA board with immediate effect.

John McNulty issued a brief statement saying he looks forward to continuing his election campaign for a seat in the Seanad.

Mr McNulty was appointed to the board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art six days before he launched his bid for the Seanad on the Cultural and Educational Panel. The move was widely criticised by political opponents as an attempt to 'qualify' him for the Seanad role.

The Arts Minister, fellow FG member Heather Humphreys, earlier refused to comment on whether she knew McNulty was being nominated for the Seanad when she appointed him to the IMMA board.

Humphreys said she had no role in his Seanad bid.

The move has sparked tensions with Labour - with Tánaiste Joan Burton refusing to say whether her party will back McNulty in next month's by-election.

In his statement, Mc Nulty said: "I am stepping down from the IMMA board with immediate effect, in accordance with IMMA's internal rules, which preclude me from being a board member and contesting an election at the same time.

"I will continue to be a members of IMMA, and an active supporter of their work. I look forward to continuing my election campaign, for a seat in the Seanad."

Meanwhile, Enda Kenny has denied ordering Minister Humphreys to make the appointment in the first place.

"I've never given instructions for Ministers to make appointments," he said.

"We have a system whereby if Minsters are making appointments to the chairs of boards or semi-States or whatever, the Minister makes the nomination to Cabinet, but … there are thousands of positions that are required to be filled occasionally."

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