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Taoiseach’s manouvre straight out of ‘Fianna Fáil handbook of strokes’ - Adams

30 September, 2014

Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams today in the Dáil questioned Taoiseach Enda Kenny about the appointment of Seanad candidate John McNulty to the Board of IMMA.

The Sinn Fein leader pointed to a statement by artist Robert Ballagh saying the record of the Government on the arts is the worst in the history of the State. He said the Taoiseach’s attitude to the appointments to the Board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) was a further illustration of this.

Gerry Adams said:

“A central plank of your election platform in 2011 was one of political reform. You promised a ‘democratic revolution’.

“But in the past few days Taoiseach, you attempted a political manouvre straight out of the Fianna Fáil handbook of political strokes.

“Taoiseach, you denied any responsibility for the controversy surrounding John McNulty's Seanad candidacy and his appointment to the Board of IMMA. You said Heather Humphries made that appointment.

“Then, you changed your story. And you said that you took full responsibility. Maybe today you will tell the Dáil what you took responsibility for?

“Did you, or anybody working on your behalf,  instruct or request Minister Humphries to appoint John McNulty to the Board of IMMA?

“Is your claim that this was solely a matter for Minister Humphries inaccurate and untrue?”

Mr Adams said there was deep disillusionment among the general public at this obvious example of ‘jobs for the Fine Gael boys’, and even more disillusionment at the abject failure of the Labour Party to face down such “blatant cronyism” at the heart of government.

He went on:

“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 the Taoiseach.

“Will you explain what public interest was served by John McNulty’s appointment to the Board of IMMA?

“How were the arts in this State advanced by this appointment? Where was the accountability, transparency and openness in that appointment?

“Did Minister Coffey follow your example by appointing a former Fine Gael Councillor to the Board of Irish Water? Was this at your request?

“Did the Labour Party follow suit by asking Minister Paschal Donohoe to appoint a former Labour Party Councillor to the Board of the Irish Aviation Authority?”

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