News Politics

Saturday 10 December 2016

Ex-anchorman Cantwell quits as minister's adviser

Published 03/11/2016 | 02:30

Alan Cantwell Picture: Tom Burke
Alan Cantwell Picture: Tom Burke

The press adviser to Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor has dramatically resigned just months after taking up the position.

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Former TV3 news anchor Alan Cantwell served as special adviser to the Dún Laoghaire TD since her appointment to Cabinet in June.

He was placed on a salary of €91,624 - the fifth point on the scale for Government special advisers.

Several sources confirmed that Mr Cantwell and Ms Mitchell O'Connor had developed a strained relationship in recent weeks.

The minister has been the subject of a raft of negative coverage from certain sections of the media.

She also came under fire over a proposal tabled ahead of the Budget which would have seen emigrants offered a 30pc income tax rate if they returned back home.

Ms Mitchell O'Connor was in London yesterday when it emerged Mr Cantwell had stepped down.

In a statement, she described Mr Cantwell as both a good colleague and a friend.

"I would like to thank Alan for his loyal service, dedication and advice throughout his time as my special adviser in the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation," Ms Mitchell O'Connor said.

"His professionalism and work ethic was exemplary. Alan is a good colleague and friend and I am sad to see him leave. I wish him well in his future career," she said.

Mr Cantwell quit TV3 in 2011 after spending 14 years as the station's male news anchor.

He re-emerged in the public eye a short time later to tell his experience of life on the dole.

Mr Cantwell then returned to Ballymount in 2015 having struggled to secure a US work visa.

When contacted last night, Mr Cantwell said he did not wish to comment.

Irish Independent

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