Carey defends FF's 'last day' quango offer
Published 20/03/2011 | 05:00
Ousted Fianna Fail minister Pat Carey yesterday defiantly defended a raft of "last days" appointments of Fianna Fail supporters to jobs in State quangos.
"All of the appointments were made according to procedures and vacancies and were filled as required," said Mr Carey, who lost his seat after receiving just 3,869 first preferences in the Dublin North-West constituency in last month's General Election.
The former Fianna Fail TD Marian McGennis, who lost her Dublin council seat in 2007, was appointed by Mr Carey to the board of Dublin Bus.
Ms McGennis lives in Co Laois.
It's not her first appointment to a State board. In 2008 she was one of 10 assistant classifiers at the Irish Film Classification Office, which gives movies an age rating. The 10 appointees were paid an average of €40,000 each in fees and expenses in that year.
On March 8 -- the last full day of Fianna Fail in office -- Mr Carey also appointed Fianna Fail councillor Peter Ormond from Offaly to the board of An Post and had made other appointments shortly before he left office.
However, even Mr Carey's own party colleague Michael McGrath is angry at the stuffing of State boards -- many of them carrying generous stipends -- in the days and weeks before the party met electoral oblivion.
"I think that those appointments were typical of the type of stroke politics that contributed to Fianna Fail's electoral disaster on February 25," Mr McGrath said.
Mr McGrath said the timing and the manner of the appointments were deeply disappointing -- though he stressed that he was not questioning the suitability of the appointees for their respective roles.
Mr Ormond, a close associated of former Taoiseach Brian Cowen, is a councillor for the Birr electoral area.
The part-time appointment to the national postal service board paid €16,000 in 2009.
Mr Carey also appointed Jim Donlon to the board of the National Roads Authority (NRA) which pays its board members about €9,000 a year, based on 2008 figures.
Mr Donlon had a role as Fianna Fail's constituency director of organisation in Mr Carey's base in Dublin North-West.
Other former ministers have also been criticised for packing quangos with their own appointments shortly before they were removed from office by the people.