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Cronyism and Taoiseach's judgment are the major issues from Seanad by-election - Mary Lou McDonald TD

10 October, 2014 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has said that cronyism and the Taoiseach’s questionable judgment are the major issues emerging from the Seanad by-election.

Speaking from Leinster House today, Deputy McDonald said:

 “I would like to congratulate Gerard Craughwell on his election. We look forward to working with him to hold the government to account.

“I would like to thank our candidate Catharine Seeley for allowing her name to go forward and for the support she received across parties.

There are two striking lessons from this Election. Firstly, that the cronyism of Fianna Fáil is being carried on by Fine Gael and Labour. Secondly, it appears that the Taoiseach is not in command of his party.

This people spoke to retain the Seanad and recognised the need for reform. The government promised reform and has failed to make good that promise.

Instead the Taoiseach fell back on the tried and tested approach of cronyism and stroke politics

This election was an opportunity for the government to widen the representation in a Seanad. To make it reflective of the nation instead of the being made up of mostly middle class, middle aged, men - the so called male, pale and stale.

Instead the government abused politic appointments to build a CV and to place their man in the Seanad.

“There are unanswered questions as to how John McNulty was appointed onto the board of IMMA

“The Taoiseach has stood by Mr McNulty.

“Mr McNulty removed himself from the race.

“The Taoiseach directed Fine Gael to not vote for Mr McNulty yet a sizable section rejected that advice.

“Labour Ministers said they would rather vote for a candidate who did not want elected than independent or young northern woman from Sinn Féin.

“And only yesterday we learnt a new deal was done within Fine Gael that Mr McNulty would immediately resign if elected.

“The government handling of this has made a laughing stock of the political process.

“Labour and Fine Gael have broken their fundamental promise of political reform, treated the political process and the people with distain and promoted a sense of entitlement and cronyism that has been hallmark of Fianna Fáil.

“This debacle draws into serious question the judgments of an Taoiseach.”

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