Monday 26 September 2016

Taoiseach criticised for comparing Connemara Gaeltacht with North Korea

Published 22/06/2016 | 17:14

Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Taoiseach Enda Kenny

THE Taoiseach has been accused of “making insulting and inaccurate comments” in comparing the Connemara Gaeltacht with North Korea.

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Mr Kenny said that former Gaeltacht Minister, Éamon Ó Cúiv, had lavished money on Irish-speaking areas of his Galway West constituency when he got control of funding from Dormant Bank Accounts Scheme.

“I recall the former Deputy, Dinny McGinley, saying in the House, after Deputy Ó Cuív had the ‘flúirseach’ of the dormant accounts, that Connemara was a little like North Korea with aerstráice here and an airstrip there; there were airstrips all over the place, on land and at sea,” the Taoiseach told the Dáil.

But Éamon Ó Cúiv, who was junior minister and later minister responsible for Gaeltacht affairs from 1997 until 2010, hit back at the Taoiseach accusing him of being “inaccurate and insulting.”  He said Mr Kenny had shown a lack of understanding of the needs of Gaeltacht and island peoples.

“What he said was scandalous and without foundation. It is completely wrong and there was no favour for any place under these schemes during my time as Minister,” Mr Ó Cúiv told the Irish language website Tuairisc.ie.

“He only has to look at his own county, Mayo, where evidence of my work can be seen – more than any evidence of the Taoiseach’s own work,” Mr Ó Cúiv added.

The former Minister also insisted that the “Dormant Account” grants were carefully supervised by a committee and allocation decisions were taken by the Government.

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