Kenny tries to reverse last minute FF 'jobs for the boys'
Published 24/03/2011 | 05:00
TAOISEACH Enda Kenny is seeking legal advice about reversing the state board appointments made by Fianna Fail ministers during their last day in office.
Former ministers Mary Hanafin and Pat Carey appointed several Fianna Fail members to state boards just before Fine Gael and the Labour Party came to power.
In the Dail yesterday, Mr Kenny said the appointments were disgraceful and that he was getting advice from the Attorney General on whether it was possible to reverse them.
"I am interested in putting an end to the blatant cronyism," he said. "It is a disgrace. . ."
The Government is pledging to end the right of ministers to automatically appoint people to state boards -- by setting up an oversight committee where people who wished to serve would put forward their qualifications.
But a legal source said it could be extremely difficult for the new Government to reverse recent appointments, given that they were made by ministers exercising their legal powers.
Mr Kenny had been responding to Independent Dublin South TD Shane Ross, who said the outgoing Fianna Fail Government had appointed people on a blatantly political basis to the boards of semi-state organisations on its last day in office.
"Those appointments, and others like them, should be reversed immediately and the Taoiseach should make no apology for doing so," Mr Ross said.
One of the Fianna Fail councillors appointed by Mr Carey to the board of An Post said yesterday he had simply sent his CV into the Department of the Taoiseach to be kept on file if any state board positions became available.
Cllr Peter Ormonde, based in Birr in Offaly, said he had not given any thought to stepping down from the board of An Post because he had just heard about Mr Kenny's remarks.
But he pointed to his qualifications for the job, saying he had a degree in business management and had the experience of serving on the Eduction Finance Board -- for which he received only travel expenses.
"I didn't go around lobbying and looking for it," he said.
Mr Ormonde was appointed by the communications minister Pat Carey on March 8-- the previous Government's last full day in office.
A Fianna Fail spokesman said the party had no comment to make as the appointments were made in accordance with proper procedures.