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Appointment of Michael D’Arcy as CEO of financial lobby shows the revolving door is still spinning - Pearse Doherty TD

28 September, 2020 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Pearse DohertySinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has said that today’s appointment of Michael D’Arcy as CEO of the Irish Association of Investment Managers, which lobbied him and his own Department while he was Minister for State, is proof that the revolving door between Fine Gael and big business is still spinning.

Speaking today, the Donegal TD said that Fine Gael must explain why their politicians are above the spirit of the lobbying regulations which are in place to ensure that Government is not in the pocket of private industry and big business.

Teachta Doherty said: “Today it has been announced that former Minister for State and Fine Gael Senator Michael D’Arcy has been appointed CEO of the Irish Association of Investment Managers, three months after he was Minister with responsibility for their industry.

“This organisation has lobbied Michael D’Arcy in the past regarding generous tax breaks worth millions of euros for multinational executives while he was Minister for State - tax breaks Fine Gael have passed in successive Budgets despite Sinn Féin opposition.

“Under Section 22 of the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015, a person who has held public office is prohibited from lobbying, or being employed by an organisation which carries out lobbying activities, for a period of 12 months after leaving public office.

“Fine Gael’s Michael D’Arcy has been appointed CEO of this lobby group with immediate effect, and three months after he was Minister for State in the Department of Finance.

“These regulations apply unless the person in question is given consent by the Standards in Public Office Commission. It has been confirmed that the Minister was not given consent by SIPO.

“It is also made clear by SIPO that a former Minister for State should seek consent from the Standards in Public Office Commission before accepting an offer of employment from an organisation that may carry out lobbying activities.

“I have written to the Standards in Public Office Commission to clarify whether the former Minister for State has broken the Code of Conduct on lobbying practices.

"This is totally unacceptable and requires an immediate response by the Tánaiste as leader of Fine Gael.

“While the former Minister is claiming Section 22 need not apply on a technicality, the Fine Gael politician has ridden a horse and cart through the spirit of the regulations.

“These regulations are in place to close the door between Government and private interests. Fine Gael are determined to kick it down.

“Three months after being Minister responsible for the regulation of financial services, Michael D’Arcy will now become head of an organisation that has lobbied is own former Department.

“Last year SIPO made a submission to his then Department, calling for the Commission to be given the power to investigate breaches of the Code of Conduct, and to make any failure to comply with Section 18 a contravention under Section 18 of the Act. These recommendations have not been acted on. It is easy to see why.

“This development damages trust in politics, and shows that Fine Gael remain firmly in the pocket of big business and private interests.”

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