The Taoiseach has been questioned over a reappointment to the board of the ESB six months in advance of the start date. Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Alex White this week appointed Noreen Wright to the board of ESB for a second term of office, despite the fact that this term will not begin until June 28 — long after the general election.

Speaking in the Dáil, Fianna Fáil leader Michéal Martin yesterday accused the Government of being “in a rush to make appointments not only in advance of a general election but further out, six months hence”.

While Kerry Independent TD Michael Healy Rae said “there is a bad smell off it”.

In response Enda Kenny said: “If a replacement is due, one must give notice six months in advance of whether the intention is to make a reappointment for a person with specialist services or not.”

Mr Kenny said that the position on the board of the ESB requires “particular expertise”. Mr White echoed the Taoiseach’s comments by claiming that six months’ notice must be given when making appointments.

“Procedures require that if you’re going to go out and get a process going to appoint someone to a board you have to give six months’ notice, you have to allow six months for the public appointments service process to take place. So there’s a six months’ cutoff, advance cutoff as it were,” he said.

“If you decide that you’re not going to seek a new member for that board, that you’re going to reappoint an existing one, it stands to reason that you have to make that decision before the six months begins, otherwise you’re leaving open the uncertainty on that board,” he said.


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