Friday 24 November 2017

Cronyism in the spotlight

DEIRDRE de Burca has taken the unusual course of expressing her criticisms of her former Green Party colleagues in instalments. Yesterday's chapter was the most lively and intriguing so far.

Intriguing, indeed, in more than one sense, for it not only holds the reader's interest but exposes something long known and seldom proved, the way Irish political cronyism operates. By Ms de Burca's account, the two Green Cabinet ministers lobbied for the nomination of Pat Cox as Ireland's European Commissioner. Fianna Fail insisted on putting forward one of their own, Maire Geoghegan-Quinn.

It is hard to complain about her appointment. She is much admired. She has a track record as a Cabinet minister and a member of the European Court of Auditors. However, it is even harder to think of anyone more suited to the position than Pat Cox.

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