Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has today criticised the Irish Government for participating in what he described as "a secret carve up" of top jobs in the European institutions.
Mr Carthy, who became the first Irish MEP to address the new European Parliament, said that the recent meeting of the European Council had discarded the strong-anti austerity message delivered by ordinary people in Ireland and across the European Union. The meeting finalised the election of Jean-Claude Juncker as President of the European Commission.
In a speech to in Pleanary in Strasbourg, Matt Carthy MEP said:
"People across Europe, including in Ireland, sent a very clear message to their governments' and the EU in May.
"This message has been ignored in the recent European Council meeting.
"The austerity agenda has devastated many communities and inflicted hardship on many families in Ireland and other member states.
"This council meeting missed an opportunity to change direction; to abandon the policies that have created mass unemployment, mass emigration, hugely increased poverty levels and caused stagnation in domestic economies.
"Instead the council concentrated on a secret carve up of top jobs in the European institutions.
"I am ashamed to say that the Irish government participated in this endeavour.
"It is time for a new Europe; a social Europe. It is time to work against austerity and for investment in jobs and public services. "The four Sinn Fein MEPs along with our colleagues in GUE/NGL will continue to strive for that new Europe."