Clockwise from top left: Niall O’Connor, Chris Donoghue, Paul Melia and Catherine O’Halloran
Via The Sunday Business Post
More than half a dozen journalists have been hired as special advisers by Fine Gael ministers since Leo Varadkar became Taoiseach just over 18 months ago.
The latest recruit was announced last week, with Irish Independent environment editor Paul Melia leaving his role to become policy adviser to Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy.
….Tánaiste Simon Coveney hired former Newstalk presenter and political correspondent Chris Donoghue as his media adviser in November 2017.
Defence minister Paul Kehoe hired Niall O’Connor, an ex-Independent News and Media political correspondent, as his media adviser at the start of last year, while Minister for Health Simon Harris recruited the former Irish Times political reporter Sarah Bardon as his media adviser last summer.
Three other journalists were recruited from the media world over the last year: former RTÉ broadcaster Caroline Murphy, who is media adviser to Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan; former Newstalk news editor John Kehoe, who advises Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan; and former Press Association reporter Ed Carty, who is media adviser to Minister for Education Joe McHugh.
In addition to Fine Gael, Independent Alliance ministers recruited former Daily Star political correspondent Catherine Halloran as deputy government press secretary in 2016, while Minister for Transport Shane Ross hired former Sunday Independent writer Carol Hunt as his media adviser.