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Taoiseach reveals €191,000 in severance payments to former Fianna Fail ministers

Enda Kenny said that four ministers are in receipt of payments despite a pledge not to draw them.

Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

THE TAOISEACH HAS released a list of six former Fianna Fail ministers who received severance payments amounting to over €171,000.

At a press conference in Dublin today, Enda Kenny said that the former ministers had done so despite a pre-election pledge from the Fianna Fail leadership that former ministers re-elected to the Dail would forego severance.

The five ministers who were re-elected and the amounts read out by the Taoiseach are:

  • John McGuinness: €61,918
  • Dara Calleary: €53,708
  • Michael Kitt: €27,174
  • Billy Kelleher: €20,172
  • Willie O’Dea: €8,064

In addition to these five, former Minister Mary Hanafin, who is contesting a seat in the local elections under controversial circumstances, recieved a payout of €88,000.

Speaking this morning, the Taoiseach said: “I know that the Fianna Fail leader said any former Minister who was re-elected to the Dail would not accept severance payments.”

He continued:

That was a firm commitment given by FF that people who were Ministers would not accept severance payments, but all these people have done so.

Speaking on Newstalk this lunchtime, Fianna Fail justice spokesman Niall Collins said that the Taoiseach was acting like a ‘gombeen’.

He said:

He’s supposed to be the Taoiseach and he’s going around the place like a latter-day gombeen…he needs to start acting like a statesman.

When presenter Jonathan Healy said that he was showing a lack of respect for the office, Collins responded:

“Of course I respect the office but I don’t respect the way Enda Kenny is acting. He’s the office holder and he needs to grow up.”

Shatter expected to ‘do the right thing’

The Taoiseach was responding to questions over whether former Justice Minister Alan Shatter will accept a  €70,000 severance payment he is due after resigning in advance of the publication of the Guerin report into Garda whistleblower claims earlier this month.

He said: “I would expect that Alan Shatter would do the right thing, and the right thing is to comply with the wishes and the intent of what the Government decided.”

SME loan package

The Taoiseach was speaking at the publication of the first progress report on the Government’s action plan for jobs 2014, where details of a new bank with a war chest €500 million were discussed.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan said the Strategic Banking Corporation, which has an initial budget of €500 million, is projected to have a balance sheet of €4 billion after five years.

He said that the SIBC will be funded by cash injections from the European Investment Bank and the German-government owned lender KfW.

The first loans are expected to be sanctioned by the bank before the end of the year, with legislation to establish it passed by the Oireachtas before the summer break.

The Taoiseach said that the original idea had come from discussions between him and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

When asked if the Government has front-loaded positive news in advance of polling in the local and European elections, the Taoiseach exclaimed: “Oh God, no!”.

Updated 13.42

Alan Shatter to reveal if he will accept €70k severance payments>

Ireland is getting a new bank, just for small businesses>

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About the author:

Jack Horgan-Jones

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