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How many civil servants (and their wives) does it take to…

November 27th, 2008 · 5 Comments · Irish Politics, Uncategorized

In today’s Irish Times report on the trip to Orlando taken by Mary Harney and Rody Molloy and the ministerial recollection on the hairdo’s I am struck by the number of people in the travelling party.

THE THEN tánaiste and minister for enterprise Mary Harney travelled to Orlando, Florida, at the expense of Fás in July 2004 in a party that included the former director general of Fás, Rody Molloy, and his wife, and the then secretary general of Ms Harney’s department, Paul Haran, and his wife.

Mr Molloy announced his resignation on Tuesday following intense controversy over expenditure on trips to Florida, including expensive flights for his wife paid for by Fás. As head of Fás he reported to Ms Harney’s then department.

The flights in July 2004 cost €4,824.07 each. Also on the trip were Ms Harney’s husband, the then chairman of Fás, Brian Geoghegan, Ms Harney’s press secretary and her private secretary.

So that was The Minister, her husband who was chair of F?S, the secretary general of the department and his wife (????), her private secretary and a press secretary. This is on top of all the FAS executives and their spouses…

It was the launch of a training programme – not talks between two warring continents over nuclear missile numbers!

The cost of the hairdo etc. is not a resigning matter – it’s very embarrassing for the Minister that everyone spent a few days thinking that FAS executives were getting their nails done. You’d feel a bit sorry for Mr. Molloy at this rate.

Unlike Damien I think Leo Varadkar would do well to move back to F?Sgate watch, the way contracts were awarded and tenders for millions of Euro not advertised and stop being a silly lad appearing on every radio/tv station that’ll have him calling for Ministerial resignations. A look at regulations for how many civil servants one needs to hold the Minister’s hand is only peripheral but interesting none the less.

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