Mary Mitchell O’Connor loses another adviser

Jim McGrath follows Alan Cantwell in resigning from post in Department of Jobs

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

Another adviser to Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor has resigned from his post.

Jim McGrath, who also previously worked for Labour’s Alan Kelly while he was minister for the environment, is to step down from his position as policy adviser to Ms Mitchell O’Connor.

It comes just over two months after former TV3 journalist Alan Cantwell also stood down as Ms Mitchell O’Connor’s press adviser. Ms Mitchell O’Connor, however, on Wednesday announced that Ellen Lynch will take up the post held by Mr Cantwell, moving from a position with the Industrial Development Agency (IDA).

Ministers are usually allowed make two key political appointments upon taking up office: a press and policy advisor.

The move by the well-respected Mr McGrath, who will step down on January 20th, means that Ms Mitchell O’Connor lost both within eight months of the Government taking office.

In a statement, the Minister said: “I am very grateful to Jim for his professionalism, hard work and dedication during his time with the department and I would like to wish him the very best in what will no doubt be a very successful future career.”

The Dún Laoghaire TD thanked him for his “work on the national job creation agenda and the department’s response to Brexit”.

Ms Lynch joins the Minister’s office with “immediate effect”, a statement from the department said. She previously worked as press and public relations executive in the IDA and also worked in print and broadcast media.

Emails published by the Mail on Sunday newspaper earlier this month showed some testy exchanges between Ms Mitchell O’Connor and Mr Cantwell in the weeks before his resignation in November.