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Political Reaction to Equality Authority Board Crisis

January 20th, 2009 · 1 Comment · Equality, Equality Authority, Irish Politics

You may remember that Pat Rabbitte and Dermot Ahern went head to head before Christmas on the cutting of the budget of the Equality Authority.

Last night Labour’s Spokesperson on Justice released a statement in reaction to the resignation of 5 members of the authority.

Today’s resignation of five more directors of the Equality Authority exposes the vindictive nature of the crippling cuts arbitrarily imposed by the Minister for Justice, Dermot Ahern.

This is the same man who considers the proposal of Senator Dan Boyle to reduce the number of Junior Ministers to 17 as “facile” but who pretends that saving a lesser amount of money from the Equality Authority to be a “major saving”.

If Minister Dermot Ahern devoted more time to the Equality dimension of his brief, and less to representing the interests of the leader of the Real IRA Michael McKevitt, he would be more worthy of the office he holds. For a cabinet Minister to get involved in making representations for the leader of an organisation responsible for the worst atrocity in the 30-year conflict in Northern Ireland is not just bad judgement, but would inevitably lead to immediate resignation in any other European state.

Now that the Minister has achieved the objective of forcing the resignation of the CEO of the Equality Authority, he should at least restore the viability of the Authority, and then do the decent thing himself.

Meanwhile The Irish Times today reports that IBEC are to replace their nominees who resigned today. And the purpose of this is? Is this why there was no statement accompanying the resignations of Board members O’Flynn and McDonnell – be seen to do the right thing, hope it all blows over and come back again?

One thing is clear the Authority may collapse if the number of board members does not go back up to 12.

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