Perry had a 'preferred candidate', and voters might soon have one of their own
Amongst the clique of 'Politicians That Time Forgot', whose members-in-chief are the gombeen fraternity of Michael Lowry and Michael Healy-Rae, we can now safely add Fine Gael TD John Perry, who appointed his wife to be his parliamentary assistant on a salary of €38,000 p.a.
Despite previous comments from the Taoiseach that he disapproves of such appointments, Perry went ahead last January and gave Marie Perry the job. Though he claims that he has nothing to be embarrassed about, the TD curiously enough to registered his wife in her maiden name with the Oireachtas authorities.
John also trotted out a line about how well qualified his wife is to be his professional assistant, and thereby showing that, even domestically, Perry is still mired in that forgotten time when wives' primary purpose was to support their husband's career, rather than have some life of their own.
But now comes the news that Marie Perry was only keeping the seat warm, until John's "preferred candidate" becomes available next month, and that this crucial position is actually going to be filled by his former ministerial driver, Thomas Walsh.
Because, of course, one of the primary qualifications needed to be a politician's right-hand man is the ability to drive a car.
While this may all smack of the time-honoured 'jobs for the boys' mentality, it is important to reiterate that, though there may be a perception of cute-hoorism, John Perry claims he has done nothing wrong. Of course, he is entirely correct in that regard, as it is we, the electorate, who are entirely at fault. After all, we voted him into office.
Thankfully, however, his tenure is only a temporary one, as I sense that he is simply keeping the Sligo-North Leitrim seat warm until the next general election. At which stage, the good people of Sligo will hopefully vote in a preferred candidate of their own.