Saturday 20 January 2018

Minister uses director at Irish Water as his personal driver Newsdesk Newsdesk

The Minister of State at the Department of the Environment has hired a director of Irish Water – the semi-State company his department oversees – as his personal driver, The Irish Times is reporting.

Hilary Quinlan is a former Fine Gael councillor in Waterford and was appointed to the board of Irish Water last November, where he receives an annual fee of €15,000.

He lost his council seat in the local elections last May. He has since been hired as a ministerial driver by Paudie Coffey, the junior minister at the Department of the Environment, a job which pays €665 a week. He is also entitled to a €57,757 gratuity payment after losing his seat.

Mr Coffey is a Fine Gael TD for Waterford. He was promoted to the junior ministerial ranks in the reshuffle last July.

Mr Quinlan told the Irish Times: “You tell me one party out there who doesn’t look after their own. I don’t see anything wrong with it. It’s politics.” He asked why there isn’t more of a focus on the economy. “We were all nearly eating out of bins three years ago.”

Mr Quinlan is not responding to calls this morning.

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