Tuesday 20 August 2019

Alliance set to hold 'clear the air talks'

Junior Minister John Halligan. Photo: Tom Burke
Junior Minister John Halligan. Photo: Tom Burke

Niall O'Connor

Independent Alliance TDs will this week hold "clear the air talks" following the double controversy involving Junior Minister John Halligan.

Mr Halligan sparked major controversy after it emerged he was behind a bid to travel to North Korea for peace talks with his alliance colleagues Shane Ross and Finian McGrath.

The proposal caused consternation within Government and led to an intervention from South Korea and Japan, according to the 'Sunday Independent'.

But the Waterford TD then landed himself and the alliance at the centre of a further controversy last week.

It emerged Mr Halligan asked a senior civil servant during a job interview whether she was married and had children.

The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) ruled the questions were illegal and directed Mr Halligan to pay the woman €7,500 compensation.

The controversy deepened on Friday after Mr Halligan's brother Brendan told WLR radio that he believed his brother should not pay the money.

The controversies have eroded the trust between the Alliance members, with TDs Kevin 'Boxer' Moran and Seán Canney said to be particularly disgusted with Mr Halligan's behaviour.

Last night, a senior Alliance source said the group will meet this week but that, as far as he is concerned, the "issue is now closed".

Irish Independent

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