JOHN MCNULTY ACCEPTED his nomination to the board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) with a brief handwritten letter to the Arts Minister Heather Humphreys, according to newly-released documents.
McNulty’s nomination as Fine Gael’s Seanad by-election candidate days after he was appointed to the IMMA caused a huge political controversy last month and led to accusations of cronyism in Fine Gael.
The Donegal shop manager later resigned from the board of IMMA and then withdrew his candidacy for the Seanad. He still appeared on the by-election ballot paper and was only narrowly beaten by the independent Gerard Craughwell.
As the Irish Times reports this morning, documents released under FOI show how McNulty was nominated to the board of IMMA two days after officials in the Department of Arts established what vacancies there were on boards under its control.
Once the vacancies were identified – including six on the board of IMMA – on 10 September, Humphreys wrote to McNulty on 12 September proposing to appoint him to the board of IMMA for five years:
Three days later, on 15 September, McNulty sent a handwritten note to Humphreys confirming his acceptance of the post. In the note he said:
Dear HeatherI am writing to you to confirm my acceptance to you as a member of the board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art.I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.
McNulty also appeared to send a note via email to the Minister’s office on 15 September:
McNulty’s name emerged as Fine Gael’s Seanad by-election candidate on 17 September.
In all there are six pieces of correspondence on the Departments of Arts’s internal records relating to the McNulty controversy. All have been released aside from his CV on the grounds it contains personal information.