Bertie Finds Three More Jobs in the Cookie Jar

June 21, 2007 at 1:36 pm Leave a comment

So Bertie Ahern is changing the law to create another three Junior Ministers with Special Responsibility for Being Paid €150,000 a Year. Fianna Fáil has repeatedly done this. They did it to create new jobs for, among others, Rambo ‘the tax-evader’ Burke in 1977, and Seán ‘the phone-tapper’ Doherty and Pádraig ‘you try living in three houses’ Flynn in 1980. >>>

From Seven to Fifteen

In 1977, Fianna Fáil invented the job of Minister of State (or Junior Minister) to replace an older post called Parliamentary Secretary. They also created three new jobs, allowing ten Junior Ministers instead of the previous seven Secretaries. They gave one of these three new jobs to Rambo Burke in the Department of Industry, Commerce and Energy.

In 1980, Fianna Fáil changed the law again, allowing for fifteen Junior Ministers instead of ten. They gave two of these five new jobs to Pádraig Flynn in Transport and Seán Doherty in Justice.

From Fifteen to Seventeen

In 1995 John Bruton’s new Fine Gael Labour DL Coalition created two new Junior Ministries and allowed one Junior Minister (Pat Rabbitte) to attend cabinet meetings. These are the only two such posts that Fianna Fáil did not create. So how did our current Junior Ministers react at the time?

Tom Kitt, now a Junior Minister as Chief Whip, promised the Dáil that:

As far as the Fianna Fail party is concerned it is agreed that this is an abuse of power… as soon as we are returned to Government we will revert – and we have given a commitment in this regard – to the former position of fifteen Ministers of State.

Dick Roche, now a Junior Minister for European Affairs, was then a Senator. He said that when he was a Ministerial adviser

We did not engage in the type of patronage we are seeing in this legislation.

Éamon Ó Cuív, now a Senior Minister, said:

This gives a new meaning to the saying: ‘we have one for everybody in the audience’… it appears there is no problem in spending money on the creation of additional jobs to overcome political difficulty.

We are not merely facing additional wages or salaries for the people involved but are also facing the inherent huge staff costs in the provision of additional advisers and so on.

From Seventeen to Twenty

Now, in 2007, Bertie Ahern has invented three more of these jobs, each with a €150,000 salary. Presumably he did so despite strenuous objections from Tom Kitt, Dick Roche and Éamon Ó Cuív. Or maybe not.

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Entry filed under: News, Politics.

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A blog by Michael Nugent

Welcome to my blog about living in the maddest country on earth. Please feel free to leave a comment.

I also write Bionic Bohs, a blog about following Bohemians football club in the 1970s.

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Bionic Bohs

As mentioned above, if you like Irish football and/or cultural nostalgia, I also write Bionic Bohs, a blog about following Bohs in the 1970s.

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