Tag Archives: Dara Murphy

Dáil chamber; Fianna Fáil leader Mícheál Martin; Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in the Dáil on Wednesday

Further to the spat between Fianna Fáil leader Mícheál Martin and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in the Dáil on Wednesday…

Virgin Media News political correspondent Gavan Reilly has tweeted that, as of Tuesday lunchtime, former Fine Gael TD Dara Murphy voted 51 times in 2019; Mr Martin voted 49 times; and Mr Varadkar voted 36 times.

Asked how many votes is the possible maximum, Mr Reilly tweeted:

“Great question. Answer: 377 up to last Tuesday night. So Murphy: 13.5% of votes Martin: 13.0% Varadkar: 9.5%

Via Gavan Reilly

Previously: Oh No, I’m Not. Oh Yes, You Are


Fianna Fáil leader Mícheál Martin; Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in the Dáil yesterday

Yesterday in the Dáil, during TDs’ final day before the Christmas break…

Fianna Fáil leader Mícheál Martin told Taoiseach Leo Varadkar he was a “nasty piece of work”.

It came about while Mr Varadkar was answering questions from Fianna Fáil TD Michael Moynihan and Labour TD Brendan Howlin about the policy of the Taoiseach’s department using the Government jet.

While he was speaking about the Government jet, Mr Martin raised Fine Gael’s Dara Murphy, who recently resigned his seat as TD for Cork North Central to take up a new role in the European Commission after he was heavily criticised for his absences from the Dáil since 2017 as he worked for the European People’s Party in Europe…

From the panto exchange…

Leo Varadkar: “Requests for use of the ministerial air transport service are made by Ministers’ private secretaries to my office and are dealt with in the first instance by the staff of my private office.

“Requests are examined by my staff with regard to the need for and purpose of travel, destination, availability and suitability of other travel arrangements, and other logistical details.

“Any necessary clarification or further information is sought at this point. All operational matters are settled directly between the office of the Minister in question and the Department of Defence or the Air Corps.”

Micheál Martin: “It is blindingly obvious that the bilateral meetings that took place in Zagreb, outside of the venue for the meeting of Fine Gael’s European political party were brief, formal and a cover for those, such as the Taoiseach, who used official transport to claim that it was official business.

“Croatia, however, is a partner and ally of Ireland’s in the European Union, and the fact that the Taoiseach met its President and Prime Minister formally is reasonable.

“The more important question is what official resources the Taoiseach used at the meeting of his political party in Zagreb and whether he always fully respected the non-political nature of public servants by not involving them in meetings held at his party political conference.

Will the Taoiseach assure us that all costs relating to those parts of the trip that involved being at the party conference, including personal transport, were paid for by Fine Gael?

“Equally, will he assure us that no public servants were brought to the party conference?

“In a related matter, it was for this party that the former Deputy, Dara Murphy, was given leave to work for by the Taoiseach, because of which he was absent from his Dáil work.

Perhaps Dara Murphy’s good fortune was that, unlike Deputy Bailey, no opinion poll was done showing him to be a liability to Fine Gael.

“Will the Taoiseach tell us whether he has asked Fine Gael how much money it received to support Dara Murphy in his Dáil work? Every party gets political funding related to the number of Deputies it has. Does he think he will ask the party to return the money? This would be for the period that the former Deputy was working in Europe.

“The Taoiseach’s attempt to defend himself by going on a personal attack on others impresses nobody. These are legitimate questions that deserve legitimate answers.”

Joan Burton: “On the Croatian meeting of the European People’s Party, EPP, of which Fine Gael is a member, will the Taoiseach indicate the arrangements made by the leaders of the European People’s Party in respect of appointments, given that the European People’s Party, like the other party groups in the European Parliament, is fairly extensively funded by the European institutions and that it would be very strange for national appointments to the international desks of the party groups not to be known about and agreed to at the highest levels in national parties?

Will the Taoiseach enlighten us as to how the appointment of Mr Murphy, while he was a Deputy, came about?

“Did the EPP advise Fine Gael, perhaps through the party secretariat, that the appointment would be made?

Why did nobody raise a query as to how somebody could have two full-time jobs, one in this House and the other with the EPP?

The latter is not an honorary job such as being a vice president or president of a party group. It is a full-time, active job.

“Will the Taoiseach state whether carbon credits are used to offset his travel on the Government jet?”

Martin Kenny: “The rationale put forward by the Taoiseach is clearly not appropriate.

“Using the Government jet to attend an EPP meeting does not stand up to scrutiny and nor does it wash with anyone.

“Even the most independent observer of the Taoiseach’s decision to use the Government jet for this purpose would admit that it reeks of entitlement, which goes to the core of the matter.

“I understand from media reports that when the previous Taoiseach, Deputy Enda Kenny, was in office, he did not use the Government jet and always used commercial airlines to attend such meetings.

“Perhaps the Taoiseach will explain his decision to use the Government jet in this instance and in others. While I am sure he, like many of us, is fully aware of the sensitives regarding the use of the Government jet, he seems to have ploughed ahead regardless, which seems to be the attitude of the Government in respect of many issues.

“It goes ahead and says, “Divil may care what the people will think.” That attitude will come back to bite the Government, and hopefully soon. Will the Taoiseach confirm what role the former Deputy, Dara Murphy, had in organising the event? Was he central to it? Did he organise the attendance list for it?”

Varadkar: “I reiterate that the Government jet is used in accordance with a protocol set out in the Cabinet handbook, which has been extant for a long time.

“It is used within those rules and I assure Deputies that civil servants would not allow it to be used outside of them.

“I visited Zagreb on 20 and 21 November. The programme for my visit included an official meeting with the Prime Minister, Andrej Plenkovi. The meeting took place for more than a hour, included a press conference and was held in the Prime Minister’s office.

“I also attended a reception hosted by our ambassador, attended by members of the business community and of the Irish community in Croatia, which took place at the ambassador’s residence.

“Unfortunately, due to a technical issue that delayed my arrival in Zagreb, it was not possible for me to meet President Grabar-Kitarovi, which had been planned, although I look forward to meeting her on another occasion if she is re-elected.

“My meeting with the Prime Minister, Mr. Plenkovi, was especially timely as Croatia will assume the Presidency of the European Union for the first time in January.

“During its term of office, it will manage a number of files of importance to Ireland, including Brexit, the Union’s budget for 2021 to 2027, inclusive, and the multi-annual financial framework. We also discussed enlargement, on which Croatia, as a Balkan country, has important insights.

“While in Zagreb on 20 and 21 November, I also had the opportunity for an extensive range of valuable meetings and discussions with other European leaders, principally concerning the next steps on Brexit and the future relationship with the UK.

“My visit to Zagreb included meetings with the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk; the incoming President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen; President Anastasiades of Cyprus; President Iohannis of Romania; Prime Minister Ludovic Orban of Romania – not Hungary; Prime Minister Boyko Borissov of Bulgaria; Prime Minister Arturs Krišjnis Kariš of Latvia; Chancellor Merkel of Germany; the Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, of Greece; Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway; and the former Chancellor of Austria, Sebastian Kurz.

“As a small member state with a similarly small administration, Ireland understands well the scale of the task involved in undertaking the Presidency.

“I offer the Prime Minister, Mr. Plenkovi, my full support and co-operation in that regard. For my meeting with him, I was accompanied by the ambassador and a small team of officials and advisers from my Department. No civil servants attended the EPP congress but security, of course, did.

“On the former Deputy, Dara Murphy, I said yesterday what I was going to say about an inquiry, and I hope that inquiry can happen, as it should.

The impression has been created that he was totally absent from the Dáil for two years, but that is not true. In fact, he was present for more votes in this calendar year than Deputy Micheál Martin was—–”

Martin: “That is outrageous carry-on.”

Varadkar: “—–and for the same number as the Deputy since the middle of July.

Martin: “The Taoiseach is a nasty piece of work.”

Varadkar: “Those are the facts.”

Martin: “I am here every Tuesday and Wednesday, as the Taoiseach knows.”

Varadkar: “Rather than all the name-calling, the Deputy should not be so sensitive.”

Martin: “Be fair.”

Varadkar: “If the Deputy is willing to be critical of former members of my parliamentary party, he should at least be willing to account for existing members of his parliamentary party who are under investigation.

“It is reasonable to ask him whether they will be ratified as candidates for Fianna Fáil in the forthcoming election, and whether he will rule out considering appointing them as Ministers should Fianna Fáil participate in the next Government.

“The people would like to know, if they vote for Fianna Fáil, whether some of the Deputies under investigation will be rewarded for their conduct by being made Ministers under Fianna Fáil. It is reasonable for the public to ask that question and to want to know the answer.”


Miriam Lord, in The Irish Times, who reported on the spat last night, writes:

By the way, he [Leo Varadkar] was right. Dara turned up (then skidaddled) to vote on 51 occasions as opposed to party leader Micheál Martin’s 51 occasions.

Oh, and Taoiseach Varadkar trailed them all. He voted 36 times.

Miriam Lord: ‘You’re a nasty piece of work’ – Micheál and Leo clash again as Dáil winds down for Christmas (The Irish Times)

Read the debate back in full here

This morning.

Fine Gael TD Dara Murphy announced his resignation.

The party has just released the following press statement on behalf of Mr Murphy:

“Last night, on Tuesday the 3rd of December, I met with Acting Ceann Comhairle and gave him a letter informing him of my decision to resign my seat in Dáil Éireann.

“The contents of the letter are included below.

“I also met the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar last night and spoke to him about my decision. I will commence a new position in the European Commission today.

“I will of course co-operate with any relevant statutory procedure that may be initiated.

“In addition, I would like to acknowledge and give thanks for the support I have received from so many people: the Taoiseach and the Fine Gael party, at local and national level; my family; and most importantly I would like to thank the people of Cork North Central.”


“Dear Acting Ceann Comhairle,

I would like to inform you that I am resigning my seat in Dáil Éireann with immediate effect. I would ask you to please inform the House at an appropriate time. I would also like you to please convey my gratitude and best wishes to all members and staff of the Houses of the Oireachtas.

It has been an honour to represent the people of Cork and work with so many fine people for the past nine years. I would also like to thank you for your professionalism and courtesy.

Dara Murphy”


Wrong Murphy but still.

Dara Murphy resigns as Fine Gael TD (RTÉ)

Yesterday: Cheating Us All


Leo Varadkar (left) launching his ‘Welfare Cheats Cheat Us All’ campaign, when he was Minister for Social Protection in May 2017; Fine Gael TD Dara Murphy (right).

Communications Minister Richard Burton said Mr Murphy now needs to show his expense claims were justifiable.

Mr Bruton said: “Now he needs to account for what claims he made and whether those claims were justifiable.

“I mean, a lot of questions have surfaced in the media and they do have to be answered, I think it’s important that the committee on members’ interests investigate this and thrash it out,” Mr Bruton said.

Fine Gael Minister Says Murphy Should Pay Back Expenses (Irish Examiner)

vince gdp

Answer it!

Vincent Browne returned to our screens from the summer break last night joined by Dara Murphy TD Minister for European Affairs and Data Protection, Patricia Callan of the Small Firms Association and Tom Healy of NERI.

Dara Murphy received full hairdryer on the question of GNP versus GDP growth.

“And if you’re going around Europe telling them the crapology you’ve been saying now, it’s an embarrassment to the country.”

Watch in full here.