New TD hires wife despite promise to 'end cronyism'
A NEW government TD who hired his wife at the taxpayers' expense had pledged to battle "cronyism" during the general election.
Yet one of Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell's first acts was to try to have his wife, barrister Emma Doyle, appointed as a councillor.
When this attempt failed he hired her as his parliamentary assistant in Leinster house on a salary between €41,092 and €52,200.
In an election letter, the Dublin North TD said he would battle "cronyism" and said appointments should be based entirely on merit.
"We must now change our society from one where cronyism and who you know count, to a meritocracy where honesty, integrity and hard work mean something," Mr Farrell told his constituents in a letter ahead of the general election.
Mr Farrell last week refused to answer questions on the appointment of his wife, telling the Irish Independent at a US embassy function to go away before he called security.
"Please go away before I call security and ask them to remove you," he said.
"And I'm sure that they will if I ask them.
"Now please, don't bother me this evening," the TD added.