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Protest over €10k job offer to ex-mayor

A ROW has ignited over the potential appointment of a former lord mayor to a €10,000 post overseeing the regeneration of the Fatima Mansions area.

Fine Gael has attacked officials in Dublin City Council after it emerged that ex-mayor Eibhlin Byrne has been offered the chairmanship of an influential board, responsible for the redevelopment of the former Rialto public housing project.

The party claims the council's approach to Ms Byrne was not appropriate and says that her likely appointment to the F2 Centre and Enterprise Management Board would bring the council "into disrepute".

Ms Byrne served as a city councillor and lord mayor before running for Fianna Fail in the European elections last June.

Today, she strongly defended herself, telling the Herald that the council first contacted her about the job "some weeks ago".

"I replied that I was happy to serve the city in any way, either behind the scenes or on committees. I asked the manager to ensure that I was acceptable to the people of the area before coming back to me to talk at more length," she said.

Ms Byrne added that she was unaware that the position came with a €10,000 payment.

"I am chair of Dochas Women's Prison and vice-chair of Dublin Rape Crisis Centre. Neither chair carries an honorarium so it never dawned on me quite frankly, nor would it have in any way informed my decision," she said.

However, FG councillor Clare Byrne said: "I would question Ms Byrne's appointment to this position, in particular her role as an independent expert as she has been clearly identified in the media as a potential candidate for the new mayor of Dublin."

Speaking about the remuneration, she said: "This is totally inappropriate in these difficult times, when communities are being starved of funding."