Friday 20 September 2019

I broke no law hiring my wife in €52,000 job, says Labour chairman Colm Keaveney

Caroline Crawford

LABOUR chairman Colm Keaveney today defended his decision to appoint his wife to a €52,000 job, insisting: "I haven't broken any law."

The Galway East TD said he had not breached any party guidelines by appointing his wife, Deirdre Moran, to the post of parliamentary assistant two weeks ago.

However, he announced today that the appointment had only been temporary in nature and he would be opening the position up to applications in the coming weeks.

"We are in the process of recruiting again, but in the meantime, in that four weeks, the job and work of the service that we offer must continue," he said.

Mr Keaveney confirmed that he hired his wife Deirdre, a former charity worker, to the post when it became vacant without firstly advertising the position.

He denied reports that the previous holder of the post, Labour councillor Johnny Walsh, had been let go, insisting it had been "a mutual decision" as a result of the recent constituency boundary review.

Mr Walsh's contract ran out at the start of September and both parties decided not to renew it. Cllr Walsh also today confirmed that the decision had been mutual, adding that he had "great respect" for Mr Keaveney.

The position became vacant on September 1 and Mr Keaveney then appointed his wife to the post.

Today Mr Keaveney insisted his wife was sufficiently qualified for the position, adding that he trusted her 100pc to deal with people's personal information "in the most sensitive manner". He added that his wife has worked for him in a voluntary capacity for the past 20 years.

However, he revealed that the position would now be thrown open to applicants.

"It is a temporary arrangement until I backfill the position that has been vacated," he told local radio station Galway Bay fm this morning.

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