In recent days there have been reports of widespread nepotism continuing with Irish political parties. assistants and drivers who are family members. Some of those involved have justified this by citing the involvement of those given the work in electoral work over a number of years.
The Oireachtas spokesman told Joe Duffy today that all those receiving jobs are vetted by an outside HR agency and meet basic competency requirements for the jobs.
At the same time Enda Kenny insists that these are personal rather than party appointments and thus while he disapproves he cannot stop them. Eamon Gilmore appears to have a similar position. In fact it is some of Labour’s so-called younger brighter stars who have employed family. While all of those involved probably have the ability to do the job there is a serious question to be asked about the continuing perception of cronyism and indeed direct patronage in Irish politics.
On a related note it appears that committee chairs have been “informed” who they will be, this is arguably another form of patronage. Allowing the chairs to be elected could have done much to increase the power of the legislature vis a vis the executive.