Monday 18 December 2017

Ross in email outburst over job 'stroke'

Transport Minister Shane Ross. Photo: Collins
Transport Minister Shane Ross. Photo: Collins
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

Transport Minister Shane Ross emailed Taoiseach Enda Kenny to express his concern about the prospect of an insider being appointed to a plum European post, the Irish Independent has learned.

There are deep tensions within the Cabinet over claims that Mr Kenny expressed his desire to make a government nomination to the European Investment Bank (EIB) without a proper interview process. The post comes with an annual salary of €270,000.

But the tensions were heightened yesterday after Mr Kenny denied seeking to make the appointment.

"I didn't see fit to make any appointment to the European Investment Bank. What I wanted to do is have a process that can be fair and open," he told reporters.

Mr Kenny was visibly uncomfortable when pressed over the matter.

"What I want is a process for everybody to be able to apply in a proper, open transparent and accountable fashion."

Asked about reports which suggested he even favoured appointing John Bruton to the post, Mr Kenny replied: "I most certainly did not."

But last night, a senior Independent Alliance source said Mr Ross is standing over the claim that he shot down Mr Kenny's bid to make an appointment. "The view is that Kenny was trying to pull a stroke," the source told the Irish Independent.

And it has emerged Mr Ross sent an email to Mr Kenny expressing his dissatisfaction about such a prospect. The Transport Minister says he told Mr Kenny that the move was unacceptable in the eyes of the Independent Alliance and that a process to fill the position must be put in place.

On Thursday, Mr Ross told reporters he was approached by Mr Kenny: "I was approached by the Taoiseach. He told me he intended to make an appointment. I said I thought there should be a process for this appointment. That all appointments of this sort needed to go through a proper process," he said.

Irish Independent

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