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So much for all those bright promises of change Enda

"I wouldn't say it was my finest hour" was the quote from Taoiseach Enda Kenny, as he delivered a belated apology last week for the controversy now being dubbed McNulty-gate.

Confronted with a spreading revolt among his own backbenchers the Taoiseach (below) finally put his hands up and admitted that he had appointed Seanad by-election candidate John McNulty to the board of IMMA.

This was, of course, stroke politics and cronyism in its most arrogant and barefaced manifestation.

The whole purpose of this shameful exercise was to boost John McNulty's credentials so that he would have sufficient qualifications for the Seanad's culture and education panel.


McNulty, who later resigned from IMMA's board after being nominated as a Seanad candidate, eventually withdrew from the Seanad by-election yesterday.

But the Taoiseach's statement was issued as a result of the growing turmoil caused by the affair within the party. The revolt was led by Fine Gael TD John Deasy, who launched a withering attack on Enda Kenny's style of authoritarian and dictatorial leadership.

To add to the Taoiseach's woes he then, seperately, had to contend with a document which showed that Phil Hogan knew of fund totalling some €40m to be spent on Irish Water's consultants, and that he had personally signed off on the spend.

Hogan has rejected this claim but it remains a very serious matter and could bring into question his suitability as a candidate for EU commissionership.

Of course, before the last general election in 2011 Enda Kenny campaigned against the previous crony-ridden Fianna Fail administrations.

He promised that if elected his government would herald in the dawn of a new political era in Irish politics.


He promised us that his guiding principal as a politician would be transparency, honesty and government free from petty parish pump politics.

He promised he would put an end to shady 'Tammany Hall' type political strokes, jobs for the boys culture and political patronage.

And now it's reported that of 1,354 board appointments in this Government's lifetime only 650 were publicly advertised - and only 21pc of those were filled by the public.

Does this look like a new beginning for a political system? I think not. It seems Mr Kenny has reneged on all those solemn pledges of 2011.