Tánaiste: Lowry and O'Brien meetings issue 'a distraction'13/04/2012 - 18:05:21
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said today that Ministers have to talk to elected representatives in the Dáil, such as Michael Lowry, regardless of whether they like them or not.
"You know, people who are elected to Dáil Éireann, irrespective of whether we like the fact that they've been elected or not, clearly have access to Ministers and can raise issues," he said.
After the Social Protection Minister and his deputy party leader Joan Burton was critical of people meeting the businessman Denis O'Brien, it has now emerged that she met him in New York last month.
Minister Gilmore said that public representatives have to be able to meet people all the time.
He also described the issue of Ministers meeting O'Brien as a "distraction", saying at this stage members of the Cabinet were going to have to go around "covered in a cloak".
"I think we're getting to the point where Government Ministers and public representatives are going to have to go round covered in a cloak lest they meet anybody, or see anybody, or cross the street to anybody - I mean, this is getting ridiculous," he stated.
He made the comments as the Labour Party conference, celebrating its centenary, is getting underway this evening,
Tomorrow, hundreds of turf cutters, septic-tank owners and those against the Household Charge are set to protest at the event.
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