EU incumbent 'lobbied against Cardiff'

 

The incumbent Irish member of the European Court of Auditors Eoin O’Shea has admitted sending an e-mail lobbying against his proposed successor Kevin Cardiff.

The e-mail and its contents were discussed at a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee of European Affairs in Leinster House this morning.

The e-mail was sent to the co-ordinators of the Socialist and European People’s Party groups on the budgetary committee of the European Parliament. This committee rejected Mr Cardiff’s appointment to the Luxembourg-based court yesterday by a single vote.

In the e-mail, dated October 6th, Mr O’Shea told the co-ordinators that the Irish Government “decided to replace me at the court".

He added: "Their suggestion here is an Irish civil servant who was responsible for financial supervision during the period of the collapse of the Irish banks."

He added that he believed there would be “further details” in respect of the appointment “because of the Irish prosecutorial interest in whether or not the State condoned the window-dressing of the financial accounts of Irish financial institutions in respect of €7bn”.

Mr O'Shea, who was appointed to the court by the previous Fianna Fáil-led government, told the committee he had sent the e-mail in the heat of the moment after he was informed that he was not being reappointed.

Following an adjournment due to a vote in the Dáil, committee chairman Joe Costello said it would be making contact with the budgetary committee of the European Parliament and the Government with over the contents of the e-mail.

In a statement released this evening, Mr Costello said he was "concerned" that the e-mail "might have" influenced the Committee's vote to reject Mr Cardiff's application.

Fianna Fáil's Timmy Dooley said Mr O’Shea was being subjected to “summary conviction” and was being “hijacked” by the committee. This was rejected by the chair.

Speaking this afternoon, Mr Kenny declined to be drawn on Mr O'Shea's remarks, other than to say it was "not the Government's intention" to reappoint him to the role.

Mr O'Shea, a former chief executive of the Institute of Directors in Ireland, took over Máire Geoghegan-Quinn’s position when she was named Ireland's European Commissioner last year.