Healy-Rae remains silent over his removal from board

Mon, Jul 4, 2011, 01:00

INDEPENDENT TD Michael Healy-Rae has declined to comment on his removal from the board of the Citizens Information Board by Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton.

“There’s enough said about me for the week,” was Mr Healy-Rae’s only comment yesterday when asked about his removal from the €5,985 a year post.

Ms Burton wrote to the Kerry South TD on Friday to say he was being dismissed because of a conflict of interest between his membership of the Dáil and his membership of a body advising the Minister. She said the conflict arose because as a member of the board he could advise the Minister but would then be able to vote on that advice in the Oireachtas.

Ms Bruton had already written to Mr Healy-Rae twice telling him it was standard practice to resign from boards upon election as TD. After he refused to resign, she said she would have him dismissed.

A spokeswoman for the Minister yesterday confirmed that an elected representative had been removed from the board under the powers conferred to the Minister by the Comhairle Act 2000.

Mr Healy-Rae, who was appointed at the behest of his father in April 2009, was due to remain on the board until 2014.

Last week Mr Healy-Rae said he would pay for €2,639 in premium-rate phone calls made from the Dáil in support of his appearance on a reality TV show in 2007. He denied he or his father, Jackie, who was a TD at the time, had any knowledge of the calls.

Meanwhile, the Garda Press Office has confirmed an investigation was carried out into a complaint made in Kerry South during the general election.

It is understood the complaint was made by a voter who claimed one of Mr Healy-Rae’s election workers tried to take his postal vote. A Garda spokesman said a file had been sent to the DPP.