Fine Gael thanks Flannery for ‘loyal service’

Flannery still has questions to answer over Rehab, says Opposition

Senior Fine Gael figures last night paid tribute to Frank Flannery for his years of “unstinting and loyal service for the party”

Senior Fine Gael figures last night paid tribute to Frank Flannery for his years of “unstinting and loyal service for the party”

Tue, Mar 11, 2014, 01:00

Senior Fine Gael figures last night paid tribute to Frank Flannery for his years of “unstinting and loyal service for the party” while the Opposition said he still had questions to answer regarding his involvement in Rehab.

Speaking in Manchester, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said Mr Flannery and others had played “an enormous part in the development of Fine Gael, in opposition and in government”.

Asked if he was sorry that Mr Flannery’s connection with the senior levels of the party were being cut, Mr Kenny said: “This is not the way that you would expect things to be, but in the interests of the work that he has done himself both on behalf of the Fine Gael party and also with his many long years of association with Rehab, he has made the decision now and I respect him for that.”


‘Unstinting’ work
Fine Gael general secretary Tom Curran said Mr Flannery “has, over a period of more than four decades, served Fine Gael in a variety of roles”.

“I have thanked him for his unstinting and loyal service to the party, especially in helping to rebuild the Fine Gael organisation over the past 12 years.”

Earlier yesterday, Kathleen Lynch, a Labour Party junior minister, told Morning Ireland that Mr Flannery’s position had become untenable in the wake of weekend disclosures in The Irish Times that Mr Flannery was paid thousands by Rehab to lobby the Government, with the Departments of Justice, Education and Social Protection targeted.

Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn yesterday told RTÉ Radio he was approached informally by Mr Flannery over issues of State funding which were of concern to the charity.

Presence in Leinster House
Mr Quinn says that he never had formal meetings with Mr Flannery about Rehab issues, but that he would sometimes see him around Leinster House and Government Buildings before weekly Cabinet meetings.

“He had spoken to me on different occasions about concerns they had over a change in the monies that were available to Rehab as a result of the introduction of the National Lottery but not in any kind of lobbying way to me,” said Mr Quinn

Numerous Ministers – such as Minister for Justice Alan Shatter and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan – said Mr Flannery should answer questions at the Public Accounts Committee.

Sinn Féin’s Mary-Lou McDonald, a Public Accounts Committee member, said the “one thing” missing from Mr Flannery’s statement of resignation is whether or not he will appear before the committee.

“Politicians from all parties, including the Taoiseach and Tánaiste, have said he must appear before the committee,” Ms McDonald said.

“He must come before the committee and address the issues of public concern that currently surround him.”