Sinn Féin TD Pádraig Mac Lochlainn, in Dail Eireann today, raised with Taoiseach Enda Kenny the political appointments to the board of the Western Development Commission (WDC) by former Minister Phil Hogan.
The WDC is a statutory body that promotes social and economic development in the Western Region, including Clare, Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Mayo, Roscommon and Galway.
Three of the WDC board members, Chairman Paddy McGuinness, Eugene Lavin and Gerard Mullaney are former Fine Gael councillors and board members. Michael Frain ran unsuccessfully for both Fine Gael and then the Labour Party in the 2009 and 2014 local elections.
Eugene Lavin and Gerard Mullaney were both appointed only weeks after losing their county council seats in last year’s local elections.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn said: “Today I raised the brass necked appointments of political friends on to the board of the Western Development Commission by former Minister Phil Hogan on behalf of this Government with the Taoiseach in the Dáil chamber. I believe that these appointments smack of cronyism even more so than that uncovered by the John McNulty affair. In particular, the appointments of Eugene Lavin and Gerard Mullaney, only weeks after losing their county council seats in last year’s local elections should raise eyebrows”.
“I have today called on the Taoiseach to review his Government’s appointments to the WDC and I have submitted a parliamentary question to the current Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government requesting that he make a statement on these appointments by his predecessor”.