Thursday 14 December 2017

Sitting politicians in state board ban

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

SITTING politicians will be banned from being members of the state information board, after Michael Healy-Rae refused to resign from the quango.

The Kerry South TD was appointed to the Citizens Information Board by the previous government at the behest of his father, former Independent TD Jackie Healy-Rae.

The change in the law comes after the Irish Independent revealed that controversial TD Michael Lowry and Jackie Healy-Rae were each given three positions on state boards to hand out to supporters, as part of a secret deal struck with Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen.

Social Welfare Minister Joan Burton is mainly bringing in the Social Welfare and Pensions Bill 2011 to implement the changes announced in the jobs initiative.

But the bill also provides the means to restrict "membership of the Citizens Information Board where a member has been nominated or elected to the Oireachtas, the European Parliament or a local authority".

However, it will not affect Mr Healy-Rae's current membership of the board. A government source said it would not apply retrospectively, so Mr Healy-Rae could not be removed.

Irish Independent

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