Bray Green Bad


Green Party’s Steven Matthews and Erika Doyle, Steven’s wife and his General Election 2020 campaign manager

This morning.

As records released by the Oireachtas show that around one in seven TDs has hired family members…


A new Green Party TD, whose wife has replaced him as a [€17,000 a year] county councillor, has hired her as a [€24,000 -€47,000] secretarial assistant.

[A former Bray Town Councillor, elected to Wicklow County Council in 2014 before his election as Wicklow TD this year] Steven Matthews insisted that his wife, Councillor Erika Doyle, is “more than qualified” and the “best person for the job”.

….Mr Matthews said she received other job offers in the political arena “and I’m delighted she chose to accept mine”.

One in seven TDs has hired member of their family to work for them (

Previously: Take My Wife

Yeah, That”s My Brother

Pic via Wicklow People

Sponsored Link

31 thoughts on “Bray Green Bad

  1. Clampers Outside

    New politics. Oh wait, same as the old politics.

    Joking aside, I don’t particularly have a problem with hiring family in assistant roles to politicians so long as they have some kind of experience.

    I just find it cringe-funny that some who would whine about political dynasties and ‘old’ politics hire family when they get the chance… Gannon for example.

      1. Clampers Outside

        Like this man’s wife, working as a Councillor.

        (How she got the job as Councillor is another matter. One I know nothing about except for what is written above)

        1. Steve White

          She was co-opted into his seat. They get experience by being relatives of politicians.

    1. Joe Small

      I have a huge problem. Even if they are the best person for the job by a country mile, the very appearance of impropriety by an elected official should be avoided. Otherwise you really have no defence against the charge of bare-faced nepotism.
      Politics is usually about different shades of grey but in this instance its black and white as far as I’m concerned.

    2. M

      This is such a non-issue.

      How about we analyse the Irish Indepenent’s recruitment policies?

      ‘They are a private company – they can do what they like’.


      1. Cian

        ‘They are a private company – they can do what they like’. Fine – it isn’t my money.

        Politicians are paid from the public purse. It is totally different,

    3. Ringsend Incinerator

      They’re married. Job’ll go pear-shaped fast anyway given the experience of hating each other.

  2. Jonickal

    I don’t see any problem hiring family members for running a TD’s office. Most of them would have been involved in the election campaign. They would know the job inside out, most of which involves dealing with constituency matters.

    It’s lazy journalism focusing on this. If the problem was TDs getting their family members on state boards then that’s something that would need to be reported on and investigated.

      1. Jonickal

        No I don’t agree. Cronyism would be getting your family or friends in to jobs by bypassing the recruitment process or qualification/experience requirements.

        A TD can hire 2 people – a secretarial assistant and a parliamentary assistant. These kind of jobs are intrinsically linked to the daily work of a TD. 90% of the work is handling phone calls and emails from constituents. A family member is acutely qualified for the role since most TDs will have recruited family members in to their campaign teams long before they won a seat. Also, if the TD loses their seat the staff member also loses their job.

          1. Jonickal

            Agree that there should be a broader spectrum of people in politics. However, that has more to do with the electoral process. In Ireland it generally takes years of campaigning to become a TD (sometimes a TD can be lucky to be in the right place at the right time to win a seat with a short time campaigning). That kind of required effort doesn’t suit many professions.

        1. frank

          You look after me and I’ll look after you. that’s cronyism.

          “handling phone calls and emails from constituents” I can absolutely guarantee there are thousands of professional secretaries infinitely more qualified than some councillors husband / wife / daughter / auntie / uncle / granny that has ‘worked’ tirelessly (in their spare time for a couple of years) to get them elected.

  3. Garlaxy

    You lads mad? Hiring a family member for a public office reinforces the personal gain a person can extract from their position and introduces HUGE problems. Taken to the next level, it’s one of the main issues of corruption in many countries where state land and contracts is awarded to family members. Not saying they are same thing, but one can lead to the other without clear guardrails.

  4. Panty Christ

    The green guy that gave his wife a job.. she wrote favourably about him when she worked for a local newspaper in his district. Some reward!

  5. Johnny

    If you do it enough times it becomes normal, the outrage subsides and people start accept it…..

  6. Junkface

    People become politicians in Ireland to gain wealth for themselves and their families. That has traditionally been their motive, and it is also why crony capitalism and the wealth gap has been such a problem for Ireland.

  7. Vanessanelle

    Not going to delve too far into this
    As there are many reasons why TDs would have close connections in their set ups
    At constituency level

    and that’s where it should stop.

    I don’t know why anyone thinks any new TD is going to be any different to 100s of others before who did the exact same thing – Maximise the Financial Rewards and Benefits to the Limits, and keep that seat no matter what.

      1. Vanessanelle

        Two in particular

        Dealing with Constituents: A family member/ connection is a direct line, pretty much, between the constituent and their TD. Also that staff member will be completely honest their boss and won’t sugar coat stuff. And won’t hesitate to contact them with bad news, or with stepping in and taking initiative. There is also the fact that there are constituents that will knock on a TDs front door any time they like, so its better to have someone who is fully briefed etc around. Same goes for relatives; constituents aren’t a bit afraid to have a go at or impose on a sister or cousin – anyone who is close to that TD’s particular set up

        Dealing with Local Party Machiavellian Uprisings & Elections : A close unit promises the TD is well supported internally within the party network. Also they will be very prominent in the ground game at elections, and will ensure the TD gets the best team out there and the best campaign, and believe it or not, the best poster sites. They are also vital to organising tallies and managing the troops into the long hours. The tallies in particular, as they can keep the sheets for further dissection later and know what street has votes on it or not. They will also fight to the death at any attempt within the local Comhairle or Cumann to unseat or challenge.

        The family member / close connected staff will get their hands dirty and do what needs to be done, while making sure the TD gets to look like a Top Tier Legislator with no skeletons

        They are also the shoulder to cry on when things aren’t going so well

  8. Help

    Time to value what we spend our taxes on
    Seems politicians during the worst crises since the famine care not a rats botty about the people of Ireland but wants wages pensions etc
    Maybe time to consider direct rule from the EU
    And we cut out the free loaders

  9. Ringsend Incinerator

    “One in seven TDs has hired family members…”

    Good. Keep them away from doing any real jobs the rest of us need.

Comments are closed.

Sponsored Link