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Harney must provide explanations for irregularities during her time as Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment – Morgan

27 November, 2008


Sinn Féin Economic Affairs Spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD has said that Mary Harney has questions to answer over serious irregularities during her time as Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment. Deputy Morgan said that there are question marks about the appointment of Brian Geoghegan as Chairperson of FÁS by Minister Harney just ten months before he became her husband.

Speaking today Deputy Morgan said, "The Minister's $410 hair-do is not the only or the most serious irregularity that occurred during Mary Harney's tenure as Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment from 1997 to 2004.

"The internal audit report of FÁS highlights serious irregularities that took place at the state training agency during that period. In some cases contracts were awarded to companies despite not haven being put out to public tender and, in one instance, a contract was awarded for exhibition sales for twice the usual amount. Irregularities and malpractice led to overspends and wastages of money to the tune of millions. The Minister must answer questions on how this was allowed to happen under her watch.

"There are also questions to be answered by Minister Harney about her appointment of Brian Geoghegan as Chairperson of FÁS just ten months before he became her husband. This appointment was a peculiar one as it broke with the tradition of rotating the position of Chairperson between IBEC officials and Union officials." ENDS

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