herald

Sunday 22 October 2017

'I am no crony', insists Lacey on UCD board appointment

Dermot Lacey
Dermot Lacey

Labour Councillor Dermot Lacey has insisted he is "no crony," after his appointment to the Governing Authority of University College Dublin by the Government.

It was reported yesterday that three "crony appointments" were made to the UCD board by Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan and her predicessor Ruairi Quinn.

Cllr Lacey, who sits on Dublin City Council, speaking to the Herald, said he strongly objected to being labelled a crony.

"I am no crony. I have been in the Labour party for many years. This is the first time I have ever sought to be appointed or ever been appointed to any post," he said.

He said he was motivated to apply for the post as he lives nearby to the college and wanted to improve its relationship with the local community.

Mr Lacey's comments come as Taoiseach Enda Kenny's spokesman denied he played any official role the appointment of a retired Castlebar principal to the same board.

qualified

Mr Kenny's spokesman said last night that he had no official role in the appointment of Dr Vincent McHale, saying it was a matter for Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan.

"He is eminently qualified," the spokesman said.

Asked repeatedly as to how Dr McHale's name came to be in the mix, spokesmen for the Taoiseach and Ms O'Sullivan both failed to deny he played a part in the appointment.

However, other government sources have suggested otherwise.

"He is from Mayo," said one government source.

There have also been fresh calls for John McNulty to withdraw from the upcoming Seanad by-election.

Independent TD Shane Ross said Enda Kenny and Fine Gael have used and abused state boards to fill them with their cronies. "If he is really sorry, Enda Kenny can instruct his TDs not to vote for Mr McNulty," he said.

hnews@herald.ie

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