Video: Barrett says leaks are attempt to ‘blacken’ name
Ceann Comhairle resents being dragged into controversy on new Dail Clerk appointment
Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett has claimed that media leaks about his involvement in the appointment of a new Dáil Clerk represent an attempt to blacken his name.
The post has been vacant since the retirement in August of Kieran Coughlan.
Mr Barrett told the Dáil today that he resented very much being dragged into the controversy. He said he was appearing in newspapers.
“People leaked stuff following a consultation process that took place within the law,’’ he added. “The content of the leak was totally improper and incorrect, and an attempt to blacken my good name.’’
He said that under a 1959 Act, amended in 2003, he was obliged in law to perform certain functions.
Mr Barrett was responding to Fianna Fáil TD Willie O’Dea who asked if the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) (Amendment) Bill 2013 would be amended to ensure an open competition on merit for the post.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he respected the independence of the Ceann Comhairle, adding that Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin intended bringing a memo to Government on the matter. He said it was the Government’s ambition to have an open and transparent conclusion to filling the post.