Saturday 20 January 2018

Ex-anchorman Cantwell quits as minister's adviser

Alan Cantwell Picture: Tom Burke
Alan Cantwell Picture: Tom Burke
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

The press adviser to Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor has dramatically resigned just months after taking up the position.

Former TV3 news anchor Alan Cantwell served as special adviser to the Dún Laoghaire TD since her appointment to Cabinet in June.

He was placed on a salary of €91,624 - the fifth point on the scale for Government special advisers.

Several sources confirmed that Mr Cantwell and Ms Mitchell O'Connor had developed a strained relationship in recent weeks.

The minister has been the subject of a raft of negative coverage from certain sections of the media.

She also came under fire over a proposal tabled ahead of the Budget which would have seen emigrants offered a 30pc income tax rate if they returned back home.

Ms Mitchell O'Connor was in London yesterday when it emerged Mr Cantwell had stepped down.

In a statement, she described Mr Cantwell as both a good colleague and a friend.

"I would like to thank Alan for his loyal service, dedication and advice throughout his time as my special adviser in the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation," Ms Mitchell O'Connor said.

"His professionalism and work ethic was exemplary. Alan is a good colleague and friend and I am sad to see him leave. I wish him well in his future career," she said.

Mr Cantwell quit TV3 in 2011 after spending 14 years as the station's male news anchor.

He re-emerged in the public eye a short time later to tell his experience of life on the dole.

Mr Cantwell then returned to Ballymount in 2015 having struggled to secure a US work visa.

When contacted last night, Mr Cantwell said he did not wish to comment.

Irish Independent

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