14 September 2009

O'Donoghue defends his Expenses as Minister

John O'Donoghue (photo), the Ceann Comhairle (Speaker or Chairman of the Dáil, the lower House of Parliament) has made his first public comments on the expenses controversy surrounding his time as government minister.

O'Donoghue defends his record as the Minister for Arts, Sports & Tourism (in the cabinet of Taoiseach Bertie Ahern) and as Ceann Comhairle in a letter to all members of the Dáil, which was sent last Friday.

He says he had "stayed silent so far on the extensive media coverage of expenses" in order "to protect the impartiality" of his current position.
It would "not be proper" for him "to become involved in public debate" concerning his time spent as a minister, despite what he called "the natural desire to cross swords with critics" in his own defence.

This is a pretty lame excuse from a man who has wasted taxpayers' money on a grand scale, running up expenses of more than € 550,000 for a lavish lifestyle that was in no way justified by his position as one of the minor Irish cabinet ministers.

He acknowledged that some of the costs incurred "appeared high", and "sincerely regrets that they occurred".

But he pointed out that arrangements were made by civil servants, and as a minister he would not be informed of the details of such expenditure.

On the basis of this statement, one has to wonder who is actually in charge of our government departments. I am sure that any minister who would want to keep expenses low would easily be able to do so. And if a minister would ask his officials what things cost and how much is spent on his travels and engagements, no one would refuse to tell him.

But old-style Fianna Fáil spongers like John O'Donoghue would never care what Irish taxpayers have to pay for his grand ambitions and lavish lifestyle. As long as he has not to pay for it with his own money, only the best is good enough for him and other political parasites.

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny said that O'Donoghue's response did not go far enough and that he needed to apologise to the people. Well, that would of course be better than his lame excuses. But what the Ceann Comhairle should really do is to pay back at least some of the money he squandered while living like a king.

Roisin Shortall, the spokesperson on Social & Family Affairs for the Labour Party, said the Ceann Comhairle's statement did not appear to appreciate the extent to which the public has been shocked by the level of expenses incurred.

And she is quite right. John O'Donoghue only appreciates a life in luxury, but not where the money for it comes from. If he had any decency left, he would resign - as Ceann Comhairle and as TD - and free the nation from his unpleasant presence in politics.
But this would be too much to expect from a man like O'Donoghue, whose greed and ignorance are only matched by his selfishness and arrogance.

The Emerald Islander

41 comments:

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All this in nothing new, its par for the course with this goverment and will continue as long as we the voters keep this shower in office, But there is a lifeline out there and a glimmer of hope of forcing them out of office. Vote NO in the Lisbon treaty and then they will have to resign

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