“Taken outside the European Parliament by Friends of the Earth Europe. Pretty much every protest you go to with an Irish person – no matter what the cause – the classic Father Ted protest signs will inevitably show up. This protest is against Miguel Arias Cañete‘s appointment as EU Climate and Energy Commissioner. Up until his nomination, he was chairman of two oil companies, so it’s pretty safe to say he’s something of a dodgy pick for the job. The petition against him has nearly 300,000 signatures already….”
Enda Kenny with Paudie Coffey during the 2011 General Election campaign
Paudie Coffey: “I think he has done the right thing to avoid any confusion because I think because I think the integrity of Irish Water and the directorships and that must be kept intact. He is now a civilian again and he is remaining as my driver and that’s the way it is, so I’d like to leave it at that.”
Newstalk: “Did you know he was a director of Irish Water?”
Coffey: “Yes I did, I did, so we’ll leave it at that… No I didn’t understand exactly the conflict of interest.”
Junior Environment Minister Paudie Coffey to Newstalk on the resignation of his chauffeur Hilary Quinlan as a director of Irish Water.
Enda Kenny with Jan O’Sullivan and pupils from Gardiner Street National School, Dublin at government buildings earlier
No instruction had been given to Minister for the Arts Heather Humphreys on the issue. She herself read his qualifications, read his credentials and appointed him, as she was entitled to do, to be a member of the board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art (Imma), Mr Kenny said.
“He did not know at the time he was appointed whether he was going to be a candidate for the Senate or not,’’ the Taoiseach added.
The Taoiseach said when he gave his imprimatur that Mr McNulty should be considered for a nomination to contest the byelection, the Fine Gael system of validating candidates took over.
A sub-committee of the party’s executive council considered the names for a nomination. Twenty-nine people were being considered and Mr McNulty indicated he would like to serve on a cultural board.
Mr Kenny added the Fine Gael official dealing with the matter did not go back to the sub-committee, which was a cause of great “angst and a cause of concern” to him.
“The We Won’t Pay campaign returned to Irish Water with a wheelie bin of water packs which were collected at demonstrations at the weekend, and set up a stall outside their head office giving out ‘charge free’ water….”
From top: Returned Irish Water mail; (from right): Anti Austerity Alliance candidate for Dublin South, Paul Murphy, Bernadette Rynne and Frank Donaghy; Catherine O’Neill and a ‘charge free’ cup of water.