23/02/2005

Policing Board chairman severs link with company

Policing Board Chairman Sir Desmond Rea has severed his links with a company which is a subsidiary of a firm under investigation by police in connection with alleged money laundering in the Irish Republic.

Sir Desmond quit as non-executive director of Ivy Wood Properties, a subsidiary of Harcourt Developments, after businessman Phil Flynn resigned from Harcourt following garda inquiries into the alleged money laundering.

Sir Desmond resigned on Sunday following newspaper coverage of the resignation of Mr Flynn, a former Sinn Fein vice president, from a range of business directorships, including chairman of the Bank of Scotland's Irish division.

In a statement, Sir Desmond said: "As soon as I had the first indication that there was any link - however tenuous and speculative - between my position as a non-executive Director of Ivy Wood Properties Ltd and the widespread coverage around ongoing policing operations in the Irish Republic, I decided that it would be appropriate for me to stand down from the Ivy Wood Properties Board, which I joined only last September.

“I would like to make it entirely clear that I know of no information whatsoever to link Ivy Wood Properties or the development in Belfast to any wrongdoing.”

Sir Desmond said he could not afford to bring such publicity, “however ill-founded”, to the door of the Policing Board.

Ivy Wood Properties currently owns the the development rights to Belfast's Titanic Quarter.

(MB)

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