Wednesday 25 April 2018

Labour minister left incensed after jobs announcement 'snub'

Aodhan O Riordain. Photo: Collins
Aodhan O Riordain. Photo: Collins

Niall O'Connor and Kevin Doyle

A Labour Party minister has reacted angrily after he learned of a significant jobs announcement in his constituency only hours before it took place.

Minister for Drugs and Equality Aodhán Ó Ríordáin is understood to have become incensed after he was told of an event to mark the creation of 450 jobs in East Wall just after 8.30pm on Wednesday.

Mr Ó Ríordáin was unable to attend the event because it clashed with the launch of a new education programme in Dundalk Institute of Technology, which is aimed at preparing frontline workers to recognise and respond to domestic abuse.

It is understood the Dublin Bay North TD was furious when he learned of the jobs event, which was attended by Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Jobs Minister Richard Bruton.

No Labour politician was present at the Irish headquarters of software firm Oracle.

Mr Ó Ríordáin is believed to have told officials in Tán-aiste Joan Burton's office that the short notice period was "unacceptable".

He is also believed to have questioned whether he was "deliberately kept out of the picture".

Coalition sources last night suggested it was the responsibility of the Tánaiste's office, and not officials in the Departments of Jobs and An Taoiseach, to inform Mr Ó Ríordáin.

A Fine Gael source told the Irish Independent: "Our focus is on ensuring jobs be created more than anything else.

"We are delighted that over the past four years, 135,000 jobs have been created. That's where our focus is."

Speaking at the event, Mr Bruton described Dublin Bay North as being like "the fertile crescent found between the Tigris and Euphrates", adding: "We're bound between the Tolka River to the south here and the Moyne River to the north."

Asked afterwards why there was no Labour Party representative at the event, Mr Bruton said "no significance" should be read into the absence.

"There's always an oppor- tunity for everybody to come. Everybody is invited who wants to come. This is not a political event," he said.

A spokesperson for Ms Burton's office said: "The Tánaiste's office takes responsibility for contact with Labour ministers and TDs."

Irish Independent

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