Sunday 18 March 2018

Labour Party donor gets job on Bord Bia quango

Nick Webb

Nick Webb

Labour party donor Gary Brown has been appointed to the board of Bord Bia by Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney.

Mr Brown made a donation of €640 to Ruairi Quinn's campaign in 2007, according to filings with the Standards in Public Office Commission.

Speaking to the Sunday Independent, Mr Brown said that he had given "a few hundred euro to the Labour Party as a donation about two or three years ago".

When asked if this donation may have influenced the Government's decision to appoint him to the board of Bord Bia, Mr Brown said: "I don't believe so. I was working on the Food Harvest 2020 plan for the last two years on a no-fee basis, so that probably had a lot to do with my appointment."

The Food Harvest 2020 report, which was published in July 2010, is a national plan for the agri-food, fisheries and forestry sector for the next decade.

Mr Brown also said that he had "a lot of experience in the food marketing area".

Board members shared €147,000 in fees last year, including almost €14,000 in expenses. The Department of Agriculture said that the post had been advertised.

The Fine Gael/Labour Government has appointed a number of its supporters to key positions since ousting Fianna Fail in last February's general election.

Mr Coveney appointed Carlow Fine Gael election strategist Phil Meaney to chair the greyhound board, Bord na gCon, in April.

Former Fine Gael minister Bernard Allen applied to join the Sports Council and was subsequently appointed to the board by Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar. He is not being paid for the role.

Sunday Indo Business

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