Via Colm Ó Mongáin
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.”
Listen back here
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.
Previously: Hilary Duff
Pic: Fine Gael
THE FINE Gael-Labour Coalition has installed large numbers of people with party links to State boards since coming into office, despite promises to end the system of political patronage.
Those appointed include at least 20 past or present party members, strategists or donors. In no case was the link identified at the time the Government announced the appointment.
Five out of six judges nominated by the Government have links to Fine Gael or Labour, along with two of the three members of the Judicial Appointments Advisory Board appointed by Minister for Justice Alan Shatter.