Fine Gael board of trustees is no big secret

Miriam Lord’s political week

Shane Ross: he’s quite good at getting back to people when he wants to. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Shane Ross: he’s quite good at getting back to people when he wants to. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Mon, Jun 9, 2014, 17:53

Shane Ross says he doesn’t own a mobile phone.

Nobody believes him.

But the Independent deputy for Dublin South swears it’s true. So it must be.

Not even close Dáil colleagues can contact him in a hurry. They must call Shane on the landline and either speak to his chap in Leinster House or leave a message on an answering machine. He’s quite good at getting back to people – when he wants to.

The public representative, author and journalist may not have an instant contact number for everyone, but we note there is a mobile phone number available to business associates – it’s set out in public documents filed to the London Stock Exchange last year by an investment fund he chairs, right next to his name.

Never mind.

It’s just a pity such a busy public representative doesn’t own a mobile phone in this day and age because we would have called him up after his Sindo column last weekend with some helpful information.

Shane was writing about alleged political appointments to State boards in a column called: “New Faces, Old Parties – political patronage goes on . . .” drawing particular attention to a Fine Gael trustee who has been appointed to the board of Nama.

He tells us: “A call to Fine Gael last week about the identity of its trustees elicited a response that made the guardian of the third secret of Fatima look like a loudmouth. It makes you wonder what all the other FG trustees do in their spare time.”

So here you go Shane, here’s the list. ( Appointments, by the way, are in the sole gift of the Taoiseach).

Frank Callinan SC (chairman), Ian Brennan SC, Mari Hurley (the recent Nama appointee), Mary Hayes (who is a partner in the heavy-hitting law firm, Gore and Grimes and is married to former Fine Gael senator, Maurice Manning), former TD for Clare Madeleine Taylor-Quinn; John McHugh, a dentist in Castlebar who is close to Enda Kenny; Jerry Carey, a businessman from Little Island in Cork who sold his IBS print services company to Xerox for €21 million in 2010.

Also on Fine Gael’s board of trustees is Carey’s fellow Corkonian Deirdre Clune, who recently ran a very well resourced campaign in Ireland South and narrowly defeated young Simon Harris to take the party’s second seat in the constituency.

Word is that certain Fine Gaelers in the rebel county are hoping her success in the European elections might lead to special preferment for Cork when Enda does his reshuffle. The name of rising star Dara Murphy of Cork North Central has been whispered.

Although what Simon Coveney in Cork South Central might make of this is anyone’s guess.

Party secretary Tom Curran is also a trustee. Meanwhile, who will replace Frank Flannery, who stepped down as a trustee in March after all that Rehab unpleasantness?