Friday 13 December 2019

Rabbitte first sought post for Labour crony in 2012

Niall O'Connor

PAT Rabbitte sought to appoint Labour crony Denis Leonard to a state board two years ago but decided against doing so because he was a serving councillor.

The Communications Minister then placed Mr Leonard on the board of Bord na Mona last month – just days after he lost his council seat and finished in seventh place in the Longford/Westmeath by-election.

Mr Rabbitte, who is expected to be sacked as minister next week, has faced accusations of "arrogance", "self importance" and "cronyism" by Sinn Fein over the appointment of Mr Leonard and former Fine Gael TD John Farrelly to the board of the semi-state body.

But the Labour politician hit back yesterday and suggested that Sinn Fein was guilty of cronyism over the decision to put forward Dublin MEP Lynn Boylan for appointment to the board of Safe Food."In my constituency anyway, she campaigned on that as being her contribution to the public interest," Mr Rabbitte said.

While defending the appointments, the minister finally conceded that they should have been announced publicly.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Also in this section