FF put 182 on to state boards in last days
FORMER Fianna Fail ministers appointed almost 200 people to state boards before they left office -- and Enda Kenny can't get rid of them.
A number of the appointees were Fianna Fail supporters, members, councillors and former TDs but the new Government is legally barred from reversing the appointments.
From early January, when the Government was preparing to dissolve the previous Dail, until the start of the new Dail on March 9, there were 110 appointees confirmed.
This was on top of some 90 people who were given plum jobs between December 14, 2010 and January 13, 2011 -- after the Green Party announced plans to leave coalition with Fianna Fail and force a general election.
It is understood the total number of appointments since mid-December, when a slight overlap in the dates is taken into account, is 182.
Departing Fianna Fail ministers continued to make appointments until their last day in office, according to documents seen by the Irish Independent.
Last night the Taoiseach conceded: "Legal advice from the Attorney General states that it is not possible to remove these appointees."
The fees for directors on state boards generally range from around €6,000 -- €15,000, while the chairs get paid salaries of €9,000 -- €30,000.
In the Dail yesterday, Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin claimed the scale of appointments between the election and March 9 was "a fraction" of what occurred in 1997.
Independent TD Shane Ross said the "orgy" of state appointments should be reversed, even if it meant changing the law.
Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney yesterday appointed retired Carlow businessman Phil Meaney as chairman of Bord na gCon, the state board for developing the greyhound industry.
Mr Meaney was "eminently well-qualified" for the position, said Mr Coveney, having been involved in the industry for 25 years, including his recently held position as chairman of the Kilkenny Greyhound Company Ltd, which operates the city's greyhound track.