Fine Gael members ‘disgusted’ at way party being run - Deasy
Some ministers ‘not fit’ for role with appointment related to support of Taoiseach, TD says
People within Fine Gael are becoming ‘disgusted’ with the way the party is being run, Fine Gael TD John Deasyhas said. File photgrapoh: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times
In a wide -raging criticism of his party’s leadership, the Waterford backbench TD said some ministers are ”not fit” for their positions.
He was speaking to RTÉ’s News at One programme about the controversy over John McNulty’s nomination to the Seanad and appointment to the Irish Museum of Modern Art Board (IMMA) which was discussed at last night’ parliamentary party meeting.
Members were asking for “some accountability” on the appointment process which was “clearly manipulated and abused,” he said. The appointment to the IMMA board was “to construct a credential to allow Mr McNulty to pursue a senate nomination,” he said. He said Mr McNulty should step down. “It doesn’t really strike people as what we as a party phrased as ‘new politics’,”he said
However he indicated that issues within the party were wider than the McNulty affair. “I think it probably indicative of what’s been going on for Fine Gael in some time.”
“The calculation from the Taoiseach is he can pretty much do anything he wants right now. As long as the economy continues to improve the public really won’t care. ”
There was “insecurity and pettiness” in the party leadership with an atmosphere of “total non-criticism”. Taoiseach Enda Kenny “doesn’t engage or entertain criticism and in actual fact reacts against it,” Mr Deasy said.
He also criticised the credentials for appointment to some very senior positions, which seemed to be “if you can grovel to the Taoiseach for long enough” and “if you can read a script”.
“It’s down to being a supporter of the Taoiseach or not,” he said.
“Some people appointed to cabinet aren’t fit for those positions,” Mr Deasy said. “It’s common knowledge within Fine Gael unfortunately” . He said it was serious because these positions impact on people’s lives.
Dissent was silenced in the party by non-preferment in promotion, subtle threats over general election nominations, he added.
Mr Deasy also commented on Mr Kenny’s public rebuke to Minister for Health Leo Varadkar during the party’s think-in at Fota Island in Cork earlier this month. Mr Kenny said budget negotiations should be kept behind closed doors and he wanted solutions in the Department of Health rather than reasons why things could not be done,
“If you go back to Fota and the reaction to Leo Varadkar doing his job properly I think you get a sense of atomsphere within Fine Gael . Leo shouldn’t have been appointed to the position if people didn’t expect him to do his job,” Mr Deasy said. The reaction to what he is doing is “borne out of insecurity and pettiness” Mr Deasy said.