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Breach of salary cap for HRI CEO means two Ministers have questions to answer – Kenny

1 October, 2016 - by Martin Kenny TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Agriculture Martin Kenny TD has said that both the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, have questions to answer about their sanction of the appointment of the CEO of Horse Racing Ireland in clear violation of government guidelines, the government salary ceiling and the manner in which the appointment took place.

Deputy Kenny said:

“I was surprised at the Joint Oireachtas Committee last week when Minister Creed told us that the problem was ‘sequencing’ of events, in reference to the appointment. The Minister then denied that he had been misled by the HRI chairman and refused to engage with me when I asked him why, then, the board of HRI felt it necessary to issue a statement denying that it had ‘intentionally’ misled him.

“Then, on Wednesday when I asked the Taoiseach in the Dáil about the appointment, he referred me to the Minister and refused to answer me.

“Horse Racing Ireland receives about €60 million from the Exchequer and has a responsibility to be compliant with government guidelines and totally transparent in its dealings.

“Under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, I have requested to see all correspondence between HRI and both departments and all correspondence between the departments relating to the reappointment of the CEO of HRI for a third term at a salary which is €50,000 above government salary ceiling.

“I am also looking forward to hearing from the board members of HRI with regard to this whole debacle when they appear before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine.” 

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