Citigate opens for public affairs in Northern Ireland

Burnside-Citigate, Citigate’s Northern Ireland arm, opened a public affairs division this week ready for the province’s first elected assembly.

Burnside-Citigate, Citigate’s Northern Ireland arm, opened a public

affairs division this week ready for the province’s first elected

assembly.



Citigate has recruited Conor McGrath, a freelance consultant who has

worked in Westminster for over 11 years, to head the public affairs

division.



McGrath has worked for Tory MP David Davis, monitoring firm the

Parliamentary Information Unit and, most recently, as a consultant to

pharmaceutical firms such as Zeneca, Astra and Schering.



McGrath will be assisted by Alan Burnside, Burnside-Citigate’s managing

director, who has extensive experience in ministerial and departmental

press office roles and is one of the few people with experience of

working in Northern Ireland’s last assembly at Stormont in the

1970s.



Clients will be given daily and weekly bulletins of all of the

assembly’s business once its executive has been given full powers. ’We

have hired someone full-time, so we’re taking a bit of a gamble, but

being a new body with local power many of our clients will want to know

how it works,’ said Burnside. He added that many assembly members will

want to be able to call on Citigate’s clients for advice on their areas

of specialism.



Burnside said that the public affairs demands of clients, which include

Coca-Cola, the Chartered Insitute of Accountants and Compaq, will run

alongside media relations.



Leader, p11.



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