Labour's Arthur Spring accuses Shane Ross of 'attempted cronyism'

By Daniel McConnell, Irish Examiner political editor

Kerry Labour TD Arthur Spring has claimed Independent Alliance TD Shane Ross sought to have a “crony” appointed to a State board, and has threatened to reveal the name to the Dáil tomorrow.

Mr Spring, speaking during a motion of confidence in Tánaiste Joan Burton, made the threat to reveal the name if Mr Ross does not disclose the name himself.

Under the cover of Dáil privilege, Mr Spring (pictured) claimed Mr Ross sought to appoint one of his “cronies” to a State board during the life-time of this Government.

“I put it to you Deputy Ross that you have to name it to the house tonight and report it and if you don’t by tomorrow morning I will put it on the record of the house,” Mr Spring said.

Mr Spring said Mr Ross had been “hoisted by his petard” by the claim he had sought to have someone appointed to a State board.

The motion of no confidence in Ms Burton was sparked by her decision to use a little-known clause to appoint retired Irish Congress of Trade Union (ICTI) boss David Begg as chairman of the Pension Authority.

A succession of Opposition TDs have tonight criticised the appointment of Mr Begg, criticising his role in relation to pensions at Aer Lingus and other companies.

Sinn Féin’s deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald described the appointment of Mr Begg to a €20,000 a year State board role as the “latest outrageous display of abject cronyism”.

Ms Burton also came under fire for breaching rules on special advisor salaries by paying her chief of staff Ed Brophy €144,000.


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