Taoiseach engaged in cronyism - Adams
Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams has called on the Taoiseach to withdraw John McNulty's name from the Seanad by-election saying the debacle over Mr McNulty's appointment to the Board of IMMA had involved a possible abuse of the public appointments process.
Mr Adams also said the latest revelations about what Phil Hogan knew regarding consultancy costs at Irish Water contradicted his earlier statements and were further evidence of why he was an unsuitable nominee as EU Agriculture Commissioner.
Speaking this evening at an election rally for Martin Kenny, the Sinn Féin candidate in the Roscommon/South Leitrim by-election, Gerry Adams said:
"Politics, as practised by Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and Labour for decades, has failed Ireland and failed Roscommon/South Leitrim.
"If ever there was a need for political change, we witnessed it in the past few days as we saw the Taoiseach, engage in the very graft and cronyism which in 2011 he pledged to sweep away.
"The Fine Gael leader now admits that the debacle around John McNulty's Seanad candidacy and appointment to the Board of IMMA is one of his own making.
"However, despite this admission, he is continuing with his plan to place his man in the Seanad.
"This issue involves a possible abuse of the public appointments process, to secure a Seanad seat. That is an extremely serious matter, particularly when it involves no less a figure than the Taoiseach.
"For the Seanad election to have any credibility, Mr Kenny should withdraw his party's support for Mr McNulty and allow the elections to proceed with the remaining candidates or to re-run the election."
In relation to the latest revelations surrounding Phil Hogan Deputy Adams said:
"Phil Hogan’s stated position that he didn’t know about the level of consultancy costs attached to establishment of Irish Water is full of contradictions. The latest revelations of what he actually knew, are further evidence as to why he is not suitable for the position of EU Agriculture Commissioner.
"Phil Hogan is also mired in controversy when it comes to the issue of planning corruption.
"Both he and the Taoiseach have failed to answer serious questions which I have raised repeatedly in the Dáil on this issue.
"His nomination as EU Commissioner is a major mistake and a potential embarrassment for this State. The Taoiseach should also withdraw Mr Hogan's nomination."
On the announcement by the Irish and British Governments of the beginning of all-party talks in the North, Gerry Adams said:
"Sinn Féin has lobbied for this for a year now, so we welcome today's announcement. But let us be clear. The two Governments must defend and actively promote the Good Friday Agreement and the other Agreements.
"The Irish Government in particular must act as the co-equal guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement.
"The 20th Anniversary of the IRA cessation and particularly the death if Albert Reynolds was a poignant reminder of the importance and progress made by the peace and political process. A vote for Martin Kenny is a vote for progress in the North."