Tuesday 10 December 2019

Fine Gael candidate refused to meet road safety chiefs


Verona Murphy. Photo: Patrick Browne
Verona Murphy. Photo: Patrick Browne
Plea: Road Safety Authority chief executive Moyagh Murdock. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Hugh O'Connell

Hugh O'Connell

Fine Gael's Dáil hopeful Verona Murphy refused to meet the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and told its CEO the agency was dysfunctional and inefficient in an email sent just three weeks ago.

Ms Murphy sent the email to RSA chief executive Moyagh Murdock in her capacity as president of the Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) on November 5 - just two days before the writ for the Wexford by-election was moved.

In the email, which was also copied to senior gardaí, she refused an offer from Ms Murdock to meet with the RSA and gardaí to discuss road transport enforcement and issues around policing of commercial vehicles, insisting her organisation was not willing to take part in "business as usual" meetings.

"We just cannot sweep the level of organisational dysfunctionality, inefficiency and poor regulatory oversight by the RSA under the carpet and proceed as if the organisation is fit for purpose," Ms Murphy said in a strongly worded email.

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Ms Murphy has previously said she has stood aside as IRHA president to campaign in the by-election which takes place on Friday.

However, some members of the hauliers' lobby group have questioned why she continued in the role after being selected as a Fine Gael general election candidate last April.

The Fine Gael candidate has previously said the RSA should be abolished amid a war of words with Ms Murdock, who has disputed Ms Murphy's criticism of her organisation and specifically its regulation of the haulage industry and foreign-based drivers.

Asked for a response to the email, Ms Murdock declined to comment on its content, but said: "The position of the RSA and my offer to meet with the IRHA remains the same as set out in my email of the 25th October 2019 to the president of the IRHA Ms Verona Murphy."

Ms Murphy did not immediately respond to phone calls.

Irish Independent

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