NI Water: Minister backs his own action in sacking NEDs

Eamonn reports on Twitter this morning that the Minister is unrepentant about his sacking of NI Water’s four Non Executive Directors on the questionable evidence of an Independent Review Team that was demonstrably connected a priori to the Chief Executive of NI Water and which was partly written by his now suspended Permanent Secretary.

The Minister adds that the IRT “got to the core of issues.”

Okay, so perhaps the Minister might like to answer those questions we posed for him last night… Not least question number one, which all consideration of the integrity of the work of the IRT to one side is, perhaps, his most glaring mistake in all of this:

Why was the Board put under investigation before they had had a chance to respond to the internal review detailing breaches of departmental protocol?

This alone constitute grounds for issuing an immediate apology and rescinding what now looks like a rash decision on foot of profoundly flawed advice from Paul Priestly.

Appalling vista, yes. But does the Minister really have a choice? I cannot see what the credible alternative is (though I will happily take corrections on that if you think I’ve got something crucially wrong here).

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty