Monday 19 March 2018

Kenny advised on overturning 'crony' appointments

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is taking legal advice on overturning Fianna Fail's controversial appointment of political cronies to State quangos during its final days in office.

Some ex-ministers used their very last day in power before being thrown out of government to hand plum jobs with lavish fees and expenses to friends and supporters.

Mr Kenny signalled the Attorney General - the government's chief legal adviser - was investigating whether the new coalition can counter the political appointments.

"What happened in the hiatus between the election and new government being formed was disgraceful," he said.

"I am seeking legal advice as to whether it is possible to reverse those decisions."

Pubic reform and expenditure minister Brendan Howlin is also drafting a memorandum for government on appointments to semi-state bodies.

Mr Kenny said he wanted to put an end to political cronyism.

"It is absolutely disgraceful that appointments were made on the final day of office by a number of ministers," he said.

Independent TD Shane Ross, an outspoken critic of political cronyism, said Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and Labour were all guilty of giving insiders money-spinning roles on the boards of State quangos.

"Many of us on the independent benches see this as a tweedledum and tweedledee situation," he said. "When their guys go out, your guys come in."

Mr Ross has demanded a new independent commission that would make appointments without political interference.

A raft of Fianna Fail councillors, insiders and in one case a deposed TD were among a raft of often well-paid appointments in the dying days of the last government.

Press Association

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