Northern Ireland

Casement Park: Report rejects safety expert Paul Scott's bullying claims

Paul Scott
Image caption Paul Scott (centre) had raised concerns about the Casement Park stadium design

A report has rejected safety expert Paul Scott's claims that he was bullied by Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) officials.

It was commissioned after Mr Scott appeared before a Stormont committee earlier this year.

He claimed emergency exiting arrangements in a design for the new Casement Park GAA stadium in Belfast were inadequate.

The report said DCAL officials denied the bullying claims.

The BBC understands that the official who compiled the report recognised Mr Scott's concerns over public safety regarding the emergency exiting.

The official said he "notes the whistleblower's frustration over what the whistleblower perceives as the failure of officials to address the Safety Technical Group's concerns back in 2013".

He says he "also notes the whistleblower's view that that alleged failure prompted the alleged bullying behaviour".

The report author added that DCAL officials had advised him that they had taken the concerns seriously "but they believed these concerns could be addressed during the design and build phase of the project" and that they "vigorously denied" the bullying claims.

The report author described the evidence Mr Scott supplied as "limited and largely general" and "not independently corroborated by witnesses, with the sole exception of a colleague in Sport NI".

In a statement released by his solicitor on Thursday, Mr Scott confirmed that he stood by his address and the documentary evidence submitted to Stormont's Culture Arts and Leisure Committee on 30 April, "which prompted the investigation by DCAL into its own officers".

"Mr Scott has been informed of the outcome of the investigation but has not seen the actual report," the statement added.

"He is therefore unable to comment further in relation to its findings."

In April, Mr Scott told a Stormont committee he was put under "undue pressure" to approve plans for the new ground by officials from the sports minister's department.

He also said he had made a complaint of bullying against them.

Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín later asked for a full review of the new Casement Park Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) ground redevelopment plan.

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