Councillor Deirdre Forde (Fine Gael) claims “non indigenous” are more likely to get a council home and thinks Cork County Council’s housing allocation policy is sending a message to mothers – “have as many children as you can if you want to get a council house.”
Today’s Irish Daily Mail and Lorraine Hall (above)
Arts Minister Heather Humphreys has appointed her second cousin as her ministerial special adviser, the Irish Daily Mail can reveal today.
Lorraine Hall, who is from the minister’s Cavan-Monaghan constituency, signed her official contract just 15 days ago, on September 29.
…However, Ms Hall – press adviser to Alan Shatter when he was justice minister and policy adviser to Fine Gael in opposition – has worked for Ms Humphreys since her appointment to Cabinet in July and is being paid an annual salary by the taxpayer of €75,647.
However, yesterday Ms Hall repeatedly refused to admit that she was a blood relative of the minister – until it was finally confirmed by her own department.
Last night, the department said in a statement: ‘Ms Hall was formally appointed as a special adviser to the minister following a Government decision on September 10.
‘Under the Ethics in Public Office Act, a statement of qualifications and whether the person appointed as a special adviser is a relative of the office holder must be laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas within 60 days of their appointment.
The statement went on to claim that Ms Hall’s relationship to Ms Humphreys did not come under the scope of ethics regulations.
‘The Ethics in Public Act 1995 clearly sets out the definition of a relative of the office holder: “Relative”, in relation to a person, means a brother, sister, parent or spouse of the person or a child of the person or of the spouse,’ it said. ‘Ms Hall is not a relative of the minister as defined under the Act.‘
“Any reference to their distant relationship would be utterly unfair without referencing Lorraine’s extensive experience and suitability for the job.’ The statement added:‘ Ms Humphreys’ father, who is deceased, and Ms Hall’s father, were cousins.’
New Arts Minister Gave €75K Adviser Job To Her Cousin (Senan Molony, Irish Daily Mail) [not available online]
Senator Tom Sheahan (Fine Gael) voiced his fears over Ireland’s immigration policy in the Seanad this morning and said:
“…where we could have serious problems. What I hope to happen in this improvement in our financial circumstances is that our people will come home from Australia, America and Canada etc and they will benefit.What I’m fearful of is, there’s nothing there presently to stop 40 or 50,000 of our European neighbours to come into the country and benefiting from this upward curve in our financial status. The European law is what needs to be tackled here….I believe we need control, we even need to be selfish, we even need to be selfish…I also believe that we don’t have the capacity in our education system, in our health system or we don’t have the housing…Maybe my thought structure or maybe my approach is very simplistic but I do believe that self-preservation is needed here.”
We’ll fight them on the beaches.
Bloody foreigners coming over here and dying in our maternity hospitals.
Cormac Ó hEadhra presented The Late Debate on RTÉ Radio One tonight with guests Independent TD, Shane Ross; Fianna Fail TD, Sean Fleming; Dearbhail McDonald, legal editor of the Irish Independent; and Ken Murphy, of the Law Society of Ireland.
Fiach Kelly, of The Irish Times, joined them to report on tonight’s Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting dominated by cronyism..
From the discussion:
Dearbhail McDonald: “What’s catching up with Enda Kenny and his party at the moment is what caught out other bodies, such as the Catholic church, it’s not the…for example, in the Catholic church, it wasn’t the fact of clerical sex abuse, it was the cover-up and I think what the public are very very disenchanted and angry at is the manner in which it is being held, being insulted, you know. ‘And I’m sorry if you thought this was something that you imagined it to be’ or whatever that mangled phrase by the Taoiseach was.”
Shane Ross: “In the Dáil today, there wasn’t a single Labour minister there, or yesterday when Enda Kenny was taking questions on this cronyism. They deserted the Dáil, they were deliberately absent, they didn’t want to be associated with it and they did nothing about it. They are as guilty as Fine Gael, not just by innuendo, but because they’re at it themselves, they’re at it themselves. Because they’ve got…look at the board of An Post and see how many Labour people who are on there who are ex-apparatchiks, they’re at exactly the same game themselves and they’ve been caught. I think, I think, and I may be wrong, the proportion is it’s 2:1, Fine Gael get two, Labour get one and that’s the end of the story.”
Fiach Kelly: “The [Arts] minister herself [Heather Humphreys] made a contribution to the meeting. Again, she didn’t really go further on what she said in the past few days. She told TDs that when it came to Mr McNulty’s appointment to the Irish Museum of Modern Art, she did it entirely on his merits and she was described as having made an address, that she could have read from a script, and didn’t really say much that we didn’t know already.”
Chosen to defend the taoiseach’s handling of the John McNulty affair Fine Gael TD Jim Daly (above) joined Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald and host Miriam O’Callaghan on Prime Time last night.
He deserves a position on a board somewhere..
Miriam O’Callaghan: “The Taoiseach says John McNulty asked him, said he’d like to be on a board to boost his credentials for the Seanad and that Enda Kenny didn’t tell his officials that but, just by coincidence, his officials ended up sending his CV to the minister [Heather Humphries]. Is that believable? Is that credible?”
Jim Daly: “I agree with you, there are more answers than questions remaining at this stage. Sorry, there’s more questions than answers, the opposite to that, at this stage. Look this debacle, and it’s nothing short of a debacle has me, and I know I speak for many of my colleagues, we’re embarrassed by it, we’re annoyed by it, quite frankly, I don’t like having accusations put to me on the doors in Clonakilty, in West Cork, where I am, that you’re no different to Fianna Fáil, you’re no different from what’s gone before.”
O’Callaghan: “But, Jim Daly, I know, you’re on a, you’ve a tough wicket tonight, to be here, right. But did you ask before you came out tonight, for instance, those kinds of questions that I will be asking tonight, like, is that believable, that John McNulty would say he wanted to be put on a board to boost his credentials for the Seanad and then, just coincidentally, the officials who work with Enda Kenny send it to Heather Humphries?”
Daly: “I’m as eager to get the answers. I’m as annoyed, Miriam, as I said, and embarrassed, at the start of it from this. And I am eager to get the answers and I’m anxious that we do that. And the place for that will be, this is a Fine Gael issue, it’s an internal issue for Fine Gael. It has been brought into the public domain by the actions of some. I don’t know what the answers that you’re going to be asking, the answers to all those questions tonight…”
O’Callaghan: “Who do you think could answer those questions though?”
Daly: “Well I’d be very hopeful and, again, anxious that I’d get those answers and the party would get those answers tomorrow evening [tonight] at the parliamentary party meeting. It’s going to be a difficult meeting. There’s 100 of us there, 100 members of the parliamentary party and we are very eager, anxious and…”
O’Callaghan: “But Jim Daly I appreciate and respect the fact that you’re here tonight, you were sent out but is it good enough that you’re sent out to represent the party and you do not know the answers to any of these key serious questions.”
Daly: “Well I’m more than happy to come out here, I think, you know, I don’t think it’s right and proper that nobody turns up from a political party to answer the questions, I’m happy to give you my views, I’m a member of the party. I’m not just a member on the ground of the party, I’m also a member of the parliamentary party. And I’m happy to give you my views and to share my views on that and to keep this story in context, I suppose, and to put it into context, as opposed to dodging any questions. I’ll answer anything…”
O’Callaghan: “Ok, fair enough, well to ask the same question another way, do you believe the Taoiseach’s version of events, there. The question I put to you?”
Daly: “Yeah. Well if you’re asking me, do I think the Taoiseach has lied to date, no I don’t, you know, think he has told any lie to date. But there are further questions that I have to know. I mean today the Taoiseach introduced an official into the, the narrative, if you like, and that an official went with a file to the minister. Well, who was that official? What authority was…”
O’Callaghan: “Did you ask tonight, though, before you came out, who the official was?”
Daly: “No I wasn’t speaking to the Taoiseach before I came out tonight and I think he’s…”
O’Callaghan: “Or any of his officials?”
Daly: “No, I, I didn’t. I’m going to have to wait til tomorrow, tomorrow afternoon, the Taoiseach was in the Dáil most of the evening today, I was at various meetings all day, I met with the Children’s Ombudsman officals, I’d numerous things going on so I wasn’t in that position. But what I will be saying is it’s tomorrow evening, we will have an opportunity, as a party, to go and ask those questions and I’ll be looking forward to getting those answers.”