Minister rejects speculation over EU commissioner vacancy

‘I got the job I wanted nearly three years ago’

Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn has rejected any suggestion that he was likely to become the next Irish commissioner in Brussels. Photograph: David Sleator

Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn has rejected any suggestion that he was likely to become the next Irish commissioner in Brussels. Photograph: David Sleator

Tue, Dec 17, 2013, 01:00


Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn rejected any suggestion that he was likely to become the next Irish commissioner in Brussels to succeed Máire Geoghegan-Quinn.

His comments follow those of Tánaiste Eamonn Gilmore, who also dismissed himself as a possible candidate.


‘The job I wanted’
“I got the job I wanted nearly three years ago,” Mr Quinn said yesterday. “It is a job that I manifestly enjoy doing. I want to continue doing that job,” he said.

When questions persisted and he was asked would he ever have any interest in the EU job, he again turned the idea down.

“You know at one stage I wanted to run for Ireland in the Olympics. That didn’t happen. At another stage I wanted to be tánaiste. That didn’t happen,” he told reporters.

“I never thought I would enjoy education as much as I have and am enjoying doing.”

He was not expecting to be offered the education portfolio by Eamon Gilmore. “I was very surprised he asked me to do it. It had never crossed my radar that it would be a job I would possibly do in politics and I have found it absolutely fascinating and stimulating. And I just want to continue doing that,” he said.

Earlier in Brussels Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said he has “no plans whatsoever” to become the Irish commissioner, when the post becomes available next year.

Speaking yesterday in Brussels, ahead of an EU meeting of foreign affairs ministers, the Tánaiste said the decision would be made in the second half of next year.

“My plans are to continue my work in Government and to lead the Labour Party into the next election. I have no plans whatever to be the Irish commissioner,” he said.

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