Yeah, That’s My Brother


From top: Gary Gannon (top second right) on the night of his election victory and Christopher O’Sullivan (above centre) on his first day at the Dáil

Two newly-elected TDs have hired family members as Oireachtas assistants, the Irish Independent can reveal.

Fianna Fáil’s Christopher O’Sullivan and Gary Gannon of the Social Democrats have both given taxpayer-funded jobs to siblings.

Cork South-West TD Mr O’Sullivan has two sisters working for him and Mr Gannon, a TD for Dublin Central, has employed his younger brother.

New old politics.

Good times.

Sad face.

Two new TDs put family members on Oireachtas payroll (


39 thoughts on “Yeah, That’s My Brother

  1. Zaccone

    On the one hand they could do an open and transparent interview process, which results in them hiring the best qualified candidate for the role. On the other hand sure feck it, sure just lets just hire an unqualified sibling, nothing remotely corrupt about that.

    Whatever about FF (its still bad, but somewhat in character/expected at least) this is extremely disappointing from Gannon, given how much the SocDems pitch themselves as being “new politics” and not like FF/FG…

  2. Johnnythree

    Politics is extremely disappointing full stop. Used to like SD policies but this lays waste to their believability. But Catherine & Roisin can’t commit to anything anyway except issue press releases. This sort of stuff only encourages people to check out, after they become cynical, like me.

    ‘There are only two types of politicians who really matter: those who can say ‘I wish to continue on the good work of’ and those who can object by asserting ‘here’s what I would do differently’. In the one year since our launch, the Social Democrats have set the standard for offering an alternative vision for how our country could operate’

    Gary Gannon – Sept 9th 2016. Broadsheet.

    Some change alright.

  3. GiggidyGoo

    Were these siblings unemployed? If not, then they’ve moved job, into an area which wouldn’t be exactly hold a lot of job security.

  4. Ringsend Incinerator

    To be honest, why shouldn’t they employ family members? It seems reasonable they would know the ins and outs of the boss and there would be some cop on when dealing with queries, etc.

    What do you expect them to do, start trawling for someone from Gdansk?

    There are more important – way more important – things to report on. This pure Irish Sun crud.

    1. Rob_G

      Why bother having civil service exams? Politicians could just hire their family members and pals instead, they could explain the ins and outs before they start.

  5. Anvil

    It’s common practice in parliaments across the world.A lot of representatives employ their wives or husbands as secretaries or assistants.It helps keep marriages together during the long hours often being worked.
    In this case perhaps these siblings played important roles in getting the TDs elected in which case why not reward them with a job.Seems to me eminently sensible to have a family member watching your back in the snakepit.
    And ‘ best qualified candidates ‘ ?
    They’re gofers not Henry Kissinger.

  6. Steph Pinker

    I’m open to correction on this, but isn’t Clare Daly’s son working as a PA to Mick Wallace?

    1. Johnnythree

      Yes and thats more of the same. JohnMCGuinness (he of PAC fame) had his son Andrew working for him etc. Its rife.

  7. Johnnythree

    ‘ in which case why not reward them with a job’ = all that is wrong with Irish politics in a few little words.

    Answer (there are many so I’ll pick a few)
    1. Because its nepotistic
    2. Because Social Democrats have positioned themselves as ‘new politics’ and this is definitely ‘old politics’
    3. Because Gary is not married to his siblings
    4. Because he campaigned on values that don’t resemble his actions so the electorate might feel cheated.
    5. Because his siblings might have campaigned with him but may not have the skillset to work politically.
    6. His siblings might have no skillset at all
    7. It represents poor value for the taxpayer
    8. It presents HR difficulties – how can he fire his siblings? Silly him for putting himself in that position – displays a remarkable lack of intelligence.
    9. It shows contempt for an electorate who for generations have been taken for a ride by politicians
    10. It calls all of the rest of his Social Democrat colleagues into question. Why vote for them if they do this?

  8. bisted

    …Oh Gary…didn’t take long for the flag of convenience to show…like the perfidious greens, you’ll be hoping the FFGers get their act together and form a government…

  9. Anvil

    Skillset ? They make tea and answer the ‘phone.Not appear in an episode of West Wing.

    1. Johnnythree

      Set low expectations like that and you’ll really get the politics you deserve. Next time you wonder why we have homelessness, health inequality etc do cast your mind back to the ‘ah sure its only his brother’ thinking.

    1. Otis Blue

      Did Gannon go Awol on the Council too?

      O’Sullivan was co-opted onto Cork County Council in 2007, following his Father’s election as a TD. Thereafter, despite being a serving Councillor he spent quite a bit of time in Australia.

      As for the siblings, politics is a family business. As is the contract to operate the social welfare office in Clonakilty for the DEASP, which is held by his Mother.

    2. V'ness

      Bertie was on the ball with their mutual bed fellow

      One political
      The other lad – the other kind

      Once elected – they’re all the same

  10. Gabby

    Politics is politics and family is family. Political ideas are for idealists and pol corrs.

  11. bertie blenkinsop

    Looking at that picture, the Gannons appear to be like Russian Dolls, you pop Gary open and there’s a little mini-me inside him….

      1. Bertie Theodore Alphege Blenkinsop

        Do all younger brothers look like minature versions of their older brother? Is that how it works? Does Mrs Gannon have a little Hornswoggle son number 3 running around Sherriffer?

  12. Lilly

    Granted, the optics are not good. But if it were me, I’d much rather work with someone I know, get on well with, and regard as competent, than take a chance on an unknown who might turn out to be hopeless. That said, given they’re all about the new politics blah blah, this was idiotic.

    1. Steph Pinker

      Lilly, no offense intended, but you need to re-read your comment – it’s the antithesis of democracy.

      1. Lilly

        No offence taken. Re-read my comment which gives my personal preference, not what I’d do if I were an elected representative.

        1. Steph Pinker

          Righto. You’ll do very well in politics should you ever choose to suck the teat – if you’re not already.

          1. Lilly

            I have no interest in being a politician. As I said, I like to reserve the freedom to choose who I work with. I especially like to steer clear of prigs.

          2. Steph Pinker

            You’re very fortunate not to be a politician, to have the full benefits of democracy and the freedom to choose with whom you work depending on your moralistic mood or nepotistic connections, not to mention the ability to steer clear of prigs…

            Now, there’s an ideology – but don’t forget the optics!

          3. Lilly

            Oh bog off you hectoring, sanctimonious bore. You have no idea what I, or anyone else here, contributes to society.

          4. Steph Pinker

            Lilly, I didn’t mean to upset/ annoy you, I apologise if I did, and I mean that.

          5. Rob_G

            A bit late in the row back now, after you’ve suggested that she is a person somehow benefiting from graft (“sucking at the teat”).

  13. Broadbag

    He continues to undo all the hard work of his decent party colleagues, SocDems should ditch him ASAP.

    1. V'ness

      From what I’ve heard there’s already been a departure inside the party
      And I suspect another – higher profile this time so ye won’t miss it

      Before the year is out is my guess

  14. Lilly

    If this practice is regarded by the majority as egregious, there’s a simple solution: ban it.

    1. Rob_G

      The little I know about Gannon that I learned from BS:
      – objected against developments in his local area while a councillor
      – threatened to split the party when it considered taking disciplinary action against a party colleague who lied in media interviews
      – now this

Comments are closed.