Saturday 1 October 2016

Michéal Martin defends role in 'crony' appointment

Published 25/02/2016 | 02:30

Fianna Fail Leader Micheal Martin during the last TV Debate on RTE Prime Time. Photo: Tony Maxwell/PA Wire
Fianna Fail Leader Micheal Martin during the last TV Debate on RTE Prime Time. Photo: Tony Maxwell/PA Wire

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has insisted his record on public appointments is "an open book" amid renewed criticism of his role in the appointment of Celia Larkin to a State board.

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Mr Martin tried to brush aside questions on the issue, insisting all parties had made certain appointments in the past.

He sanctioned the appointment of Ms Larkin, the former partner of then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, to the National Consumer Agency in 2005.

The issue was raised during the last of the televised leaders' debates on Tuesday night and questions continued on the campaign trail yesterday.

Canvassing in Cork, Mr Martin defended his appointments to State boards while he was in Government between 1997 and 2011.

"This is an open book. This is all a matter of public knowledge," he said. "I think across politics, all political parties have been involved in making appointments down through the years. That has happened in Northern Ireland as well with Sinn Féin."

He said it was important that, going forward, appointments go through agreed processes.

"I think we have to be fully transparent into the future," Mr Martin said.

Irish Independent

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