Tuesday 23 January 2018

End of the line for gravy train of old

SOCIAL Protection Minister Joan Burton has removed Deputy Michael Healy-Rae from the governing body of the Citizens' Information Board.

The move is described by Ms Burton's spokesman as unconnected with the controversy over calls made from Leinster House in 2007 in support of declaring Mr Healy-Rae the winner of a television "reality" show. Certainly it raises bigger issues than a comic-opera affair which has supplied the nation with equal measures of anger and entertainment.

The new Independent deputy for Kerry South received his appointment to a state board in the first place as part of a deal made by his father (and predecessor in the Dail) Jackie Healy-Rae and Deputy Michael Lowry of Tipperary North with Brian Cowen's government in 2009. Not all the details of the deal are known, but the purpose was never in doubt: to help prop up a shaky government.

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