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Minister McGrath has serious questions to answer in Finance Committee over Secretary General salary – Mairéad Farrell TD

1 February, 2021 - by Mairéad Farrell TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform, Mairéad Farrell TD, has said Minister Michael McGrath has serious questions to answer about what role the new Secretary General at the Department of Health had in devising terms for the position.

Speaking this evening, Teachta Farrell said:

“Tomorrow, Minister McGrath will appear before the Finance Committee and he must answer many vital and outstanding questions about the manner in which the new Secretary General was appointed and how the appointment process was carried out. 

“The Minister has evaded questions on this so far and we have not seen the openness and transparency that this important issue deserves. I, and my colleague Pearse Doherty TD, will be pressing Minister McGrath to give the answers that the public deserves. 

“For weeks, there has been no reasonable explanation or justification regarding this huge salary for this position.

"Now, media reports published this evening have suggested that the individual who took up the position had been involved in designing the booklet containing terms for the post. Minister McGrath needs to clarify if this is the case and whether this is in line with standard procedure. He needs to be clear if a conflict of interest occurred here. 

“Reading through documents ahead of tomorrow’s committee, it appears that there were three others options available to the Minister, yet he opted for this major salary increase. 

“This is a huge sum of public money and people are entitled to know whether this was justified. 

“I will continue to work to ensure the Government is held to account on this issue and to press Minister McGrath on these matters during the Finance Committee.” 

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