Gerry Lynch: ‘purely a staffing matter’?

Despite attempts via several avenues to get clarity on this I have been unsuccessful. There is a chance the reason behind it being kept quiet is entirely valid but Slugger has not been given even a gentle indication there are issues that mean this post shouldn’t be in the public domain (and more than just me asked or looked into this).

I had previously tipped Gerry Lynch, now former Executive Director of the Alliance party, Westminster candidate for East Antrim and North Belfast Party rep for greatness. I was pretty confident he would be successor to Sean Neeson in the Assembly.

My prediction was so wrong I have to revisit the topic even though it involves changes within the Alliance party that are inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.

In the last week, as first mentioned by Liam Clarke on Facebook, Gerry Lynch left politics :

Liam Clarke is sorry to hear that Gerry Lynch, Executive Director of the Alliance Party, has bowed out of poltiics. A clever, well educated and charming man who hadn’t forgotten in roots in working class North Belfast.

Gerry has quietly left his position as Executive Director and been replaced by former Assisitant Director (Development): Stephen Douglas who now seems to be in a newly created role of (Acting) General Secretary. Gerry’s profile page has also been deleted from the Alliance website.

When I asked Stephen Douglas what was happening he responded:

Gerry left his post as Exec Director by mutual agreement. Since it’s purely a staffing matter, rather than anything to do with policy, or electoral politics, it would be inappropriate for the Party to comment further.

I did reply this was intriguing and I would be likely to blog it but received no response.

So why has Alliance let such a longstanding and senior member go without any note? Goodbye? Mention at all? Or even efforts to dissuade questions from the like of Slugger?

Gerry has been a great friend of Slugger over the years and fantastic company at many of our events. If he’s leaving politics, we are certainly going to note it.

UPDATE

I don’t take the Sunday Life but have been sent this article:

Alliance left in shock as Lynch quits

THE Alliance Party was reeling last night after the shock departure of executive director Gerry Lynch.

His decision to quit ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections caught many party members on the hop.

Mr Lynch, 33, was based at the party’s HQ in Belfast and was a key figure in recent election campaigns.

When contacted on Friday, party chairman Stewart Dickson said in a brief statement: “Gerry Lynch has left the employment of the Alliance Party by mutual consent.”

Speaking from his home last night, Mr Lynch told Sunday Life: “I tendered my resignation a few weeks ago and the simple fact is I was burnt out.

“I was working too hard and wanted to do something else in life. I’m doing a bit of voluntary work in overseas development and I’m going to go abroad and see things for myself.”

East Antrim MLA Sean Neeson, who is to stand down at the next election, said:

“Gerry is one of the most talented people I know and I’m not surprised he is considering other alternatives. There are other areas and avenues he wants to explore.”

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