Grievance cases against boss of Sport NI probed

March 23, 2015

The Silverbridge woman who heads up Northern Ireland’s public body for sport development is on leave from her post while an investigation takes place into a number of grievance cases made against her, The Examiner has learned.

Chief Executive of Sport NI, Antoinette McKeown, reportedly went on leave a number of weeks ago while the complaints, of which it is believed there are at least three, are examined.   It is understood Ms McKeown may also have lodged a grievance herself.

A spokesperson for Sport NI said she “has not left her post” but refused to be drawn any further.

In the absence of Ms McKeown as accounting officer of Sport NI, and its refusal to reveal any details, the Assembly’s Culture, Arts and Leisure Committee has called for “clarification” on how of the public-funded body is “functioning at the top”.

SDLP MLA Dominic Bradley is a member of the DCAL Committee.  He said the public “most definitely has a right to know what is going on”.

“As a publicly funded body, Sport NI has no right to erect a wall of silence around what is going on internally.  We have a right to know who is currently in charge at Sport NI and if there are any ongoing issues. I was at a meeting at Sport NI a few weeks ago and Ms McKeown was absent. How long is she going to be absent for?” he asked.

Antoinette McKeown was appointed as boss of Sport NI in June 2013, the first woman to hold the role of CEO.