Thursday 14 December 2017

De Burca 'no' to consolation job

Ex-senator refused Court of Auditors post

ine Kerr Political Correspondent

FORMER Green Senator Deirdre de Burca rejected offers of a 'consolation' European job before dramatically resigning from the Parliamentary Party and the Seanad.

Ms de Burca last night issued another lengthy statement accusing her former colleagues of issuing a series of false allegations against her.

But she claimed the failure to land a position in the cabinet of EU Commissioner Maire Geoghegan Quinn, had been the "trigger" for her resignation -- not the cause.

The ex-senator, who has still not given any interviews, had made it known she was determined to be at the heart of European politics and policies.

However, she turned down the offer of being Chef de Cabinet in the European Court of Auditors when hopes of featuring in Ms Geoghegan Quinn's cabinet -- which deals with the research and innovation portfolio -- quickly faded.

Ms de Burca said she did not believe she had the necessary skills or experience for the important work of ensuring that the EU budget is correctly implemented.

"I made it clear to the Green Party and Fianna Fail that I was not looking for a 'plum' and well-paid job in Brussels, but rather that I genuinely want to make a serious contribution to ensuring that the European Union leads the way internationally towards a more sustainable and responsible way of living on the planet," she said, explaining her preference for a position in the commissioner's cabinet.

The vacancy in the Court of Auditors arose following the resignation of Ms Geoghegan Quinn.

Ms de Burca last night claimed there had been an understanding between Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Green Party leader John Gormley that a Green member would obtain a position in the commissioner's new cabinet.


Such a deal was struck, according to Ms de Burca, in exchange for the Green Party supporting Ms Geoghegan Quinn's nomination, and not that of former European Parliament president Pat Cox, for the commission position last November.

Ms de Burca claimed Mr Cowen had told the former Fianna Fail TD of "this condition".

In the end, Ms de Burca claimed, Mr Gormley had told her he was "powerless" to have the alleged agreement honoured.

Last night a spokesman for Mr Cowen confirmed the Taoiseach had supported Ms de Burca's bid for a position.

But he stressed it was ultimately up to the commissioner to decide on her appointments.

She said she had been told of her failure to get the post by a senior government minister.

The Green Party refused to comment on any of Ms de Burca's latest claims.

Ms de Burca also denied claims she threatened to "damage" the party.

Instead, she insisted she had simply told the Greens her resignation could be damaging for the party.

The ex-senator will remain a member of the Green Party.

Irish Independent

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