Friday 20 January 2017

End of the line for gravy train of old

Published 04/07/2011 | 05:00

SOCIAL Protection Minister Joan Burton has removed Deputy Michael Healy-Rae from the governing body of the Citizens' Information Board.

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The move is described by Ms Burton's spokesman as unconnected with the controversy over calls made from Leinster House in 2007 in support of declaring Mr Healy-Rae the winner of a television "reality" show. Certainly it raises bigger issues than a comic-opera affair which has supplied the nation with equal measures of anger and entertainment.

The new Independent deputy for Kerry South received his appointment to a state board in the first place as part of a deal made by his father (and predecessor in the Dail) Jackie Healy-Rae and Deputy Michael Lowry of Tipperary North with Brian Cowen's government in 2009. Not all the details of the deal are known, but the purpose was never in doubt: to help prop up a shaky government.

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