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Former TD at centre of two-jobs uproar has quit top EU role after just six months



Former FG minister Dara Murphy will take up a new job. Photo: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

Former FG minister Dara Murphy will take up a new job. Photo: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

Former FG minister Dara Murphy will take up a new job. Photo: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

Controversial former Fine Gael TD Dara Murphy has left his €150,000-a-year job in the European Commission after just six months in the role.

Mr Murphy resigned from the Dáil last December, amid controversy over his salary and expenses as a TD, to take up the position as member of the cabinet of Bulgaria's EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel.

But he has left the position of special adviser to Ms Gabriel, the EU Commissioner for Innovation, after six months "by mutual agreement" to take up what he said was a "new opportunity" in the autumn.

In a statement, Ms Gabriel said: "By mutual agreement, Dara Murphy has left my cabinet. I am very grateful for his contribution from the beginning of the mandate. I wish Dara all the best for the future."

Responding to queries about his situation from the Irish Independent, Mr Murphy said: "I left the Commissioner's cabinet two weeks ago to take up a new opportunity in the autumn. I wish her the very best for the future.

"I very much enjoyed working with her through the European election campaign and especially during the initial year of her hearings and important portfolio."

Mr Murphy would not reveal details of his new job. It is understood he will remain working in the Commission until September before taking up his new role in October.

Mr Murphy, the former EU affairs minister, was embroiled in controversy last year over his decision to work as a campaign director for the European People's Party for two years.

During that time, he continued to serve as TD for Cork North-Central and was claiming full Oireachtas allowances and expenses.

The matter was the subject of a complaint to the Dáil ethics committee by Fianna Fáil.

But Mr Murphy's decision to resign from the Dáil made it impossible for him to be investigated by the Leinster House authorities.

When he resigned as a TD, he said he would cooperate with any inquiries. However, former Taoiseach Leo Varadkar subsequently revealed that Mr Murphy had failed to cooperate with the internal Dáil inquiry.

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"I have asked him to do so," Mr Varadkar, the leader of Fine Gael, said in December.

"As of now, he's not willing to do so. I'm annoyed about that and a lot of people in Fine Gael are annoyed about that too. And I'd be calling on him to reconsider that decision."

The matter was further complicated by the dissolution of the Dáil in January and calling of a general election.

Mr Murphy did not respond to queries about whether he has subsequently cooperated, or would be prepared to cooperate with a Dáil ethics probe.

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