Tuesday 24 April 2018

Mitchell O'Connor rounds on TDs after they fail to attend jobs action plan launch

Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor has risked fuelling tensions with other TDs after criticising their lack of attendance at the announcement of the Government's Action Plan for Jobs.

Ms Mitchell O'Connor dismissed suggestions that the report was a "rehash" of previous announcements - but rounded on deputies for their failure to attend.

"First of all, [the action plan] is new and I did invite all my colleagues from Dáil Éireann and only one turned up this morning. So they do need to read the document," the Dún Laoghaire TD said.

Her spokesperson later clarified that the deputy in question who attended as a guest was Sinn Féin jobs spokesman Maurice Quinlivan.

It is understood Ms Mitchell O'Connor's officials wrote to most TDs last Friday, alerting them to the event and extending an invite to a 7.30am briefing on the action plan, which was scheduled for yesterday. But some TDs said they did not learn about the event itself until last night.

Ms Mitchell O'Connor was joined on the podium by Taoiseach Enda Kenny and junior ministers Pat Breen and John Halligan. But Mr Kenny was criticised by some of his own party colleagues last night after he refused to facilitate questions from the media at the event in Dublin's south inner city.

It is common practice for Mr Kenny to engage in a question-and- answer session with journalists following the launch of the Government's action plans.

But his officials pointed out that he had other engagements and that he had spoken to the media on numerous occasions in recent weeks.

One senior Cabinet figure, however, last night said that the failure represented a "missed opportunity".

The document itself contains a number of proposals aimed at dealing with the fallout from Brexit. It includes a "rainy day fund" and the poaching of "globally renowned" workers from the UK.

Irish Independent

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