CONTROVERSIAL TD Michael Lowry and former Independent deputy Jackie Healy-Rae were each given three positions on state boards to hand out to supporters as part of a secret deal struck with Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen.
The Irish Independent has learned the six posts — worth tens of thousands of euro a year in payments and expenses — were a key part of the deals reached with Mr Lowry and Mr Healy-Rae to ensure their support for the Fianna Fail-Green Party coalition.
The full details were not known to other members of the Cabinet outside of Mr Ahern and Mr Cowen.
Jackie and Michael’s appointments (by private arrangement with Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen):
“Ms O’Reilly (30) does PR work for Mr Lowry through her company Unicorn PR. Her company also does work for the Tipperary Venue casino project which Mr Lowry is championing and she is also a director of Clonmel Chamber of Commerce. She was appointed to the National Transport Authority and gets €11,970 per year in fees.”
“Mr Fogarty is a long standing member of Mr Lowry’s local team in Tipperary North and is a former chairman of Munster GAA. He was master of ceremonies at Mr Lowry’s re-election launch this year. He receives around €7,695 per year in fees alone for his position with the Equality Authority, based in Roscrea.”
“Mr O’Dwyer is also a supporter of Mr Lowry and is a director of the greyhound track in Thurles. His position on the Irish Greyhound board comes with an annual fee of €12,600 and his three year terms ends in 2012.”
Michael Healy Rae
“Mr Healy-Rae was a councillor when he was appointed to the Citizens Information Board by Mary Hanafin in 2009. He has since assumed his father’s Kerry South Dail seat. The CIB job — which Michael Healy-Rae has said he sought for himself — is worth in €5,985 fees, as well as travel and accommodation expenses.”
“Ms Healy-Rae was appointed to the Criminal Injuries Compensation by Brian Lenihan in September 2007 and was re-appointed last year by Dermot Ahern. She is Ms Healy-Rae’s daughter and is described as a very able barrister. She will get paid €272 for each meeting she attends and up to €361 for each case on which she gives her legal expertise.”
“Mr Lonergan is a Killarney-based engineer who dabbles in rally car racing. He was appointed to the National Roads Authority, which comes with fees of €7,695 per year.”