'It's a lot of easier to talk to you than some other people I have to talk to these days' - Taoiseach at jobs announcement
TAOISEACH Enda Kenny got a brief respite from the swirling controversy over the Garda whistleblower scandal as he attended a jobs announcement in Dublin this morning.
Amid questions over how long he'll remain in office, and facing a confidence motion in the Dáil later today, Mr Kenny was on hand to welcome the news that 500 jobs will be created by tech firm Indeed.
- Read More: Online jobs site Indeed to hire 500 new people in Dublin, and the perks are pretty impressive
Reporters were told by Mr Kenny's press office staff that he's not taking questions from the media at the event at Indeed's European headquarters in St Stephen's Green.
But asked on the way out if he is considering his position in light of the ongoing controversy, Mr Kenny didn't address the question, instead replying: "Wonderful day to be here at Indeed."
Mr Kenny hailed the new jobs in his speech to staff and, in an apparent reference to the ongoing political storm, quipped: "It's a lot of easier to talk to you than some of the other people I have to talk to these days"
It was his first public appearance since it emerged in the Dáil that he was aware that the Tusla file on Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe referenced allegations of sexual abuse.
Children's Minister Katherine Zappone revealed in the Dáil last night that she briefed the Taoiseach before a Cabinet meeting where the terms of reference on the proposed Commission of Investigation was discussed.
"I told him that I had met with the McCabes, that we had discussed false allegations of sexual abuse made against Sgt McCabe to Tusla.
"The Taoiseach said that this would be covered by the Commission of Investigation," she said.
Later the Taoiseach acknowledged that while the minister didn't divulge details of the sexual abuse, she did mention it to him.
The government has agreed to hold a public tribunal into the alleged smear campaign against Sgt McCabe, which is expected to have a deadline of around 12 months.
During the heated Dáil debate last night, Mr Kenny was asked on at least 10 occasions to reveal when he first learned of the false sex abuse allegations against Sgt McCabe. Mr Kenny repeatedly insisted that he was unaware of the details of the accusations until the 'Prime Time' programme relating to the Tusla file last Thursday night.
Mr Kenny will face leaders' questions in the Dáil at noon and is set to deliver a major speech on Brexit later today.
Mr Kenny was joined at the event in Dublin by Indeed President Chris Hyams and IDA Ireland chief executive Martin Shanahan for the jobs announcement.
Indeed - a recruitment website - is expanding its European, Middle East and Africa headquarters in Dublin to capitalise on continuing rapid international growth.
Indeed's services allow job seekers to to search millions of jobs on in more than 60 countries and 28 languages.