Boyle: FF did try to get EU job for de Búrca

GREEN Party chairman, Dan Boyle, has said Fianna Fáil did everything it could to get his former party colleague Déirdre de Búrca a job with the European Commission.

He said claims that party leader John Gormley felt “shafted” by Taoiseach Brian Cowen’s lack of support were not true.

He said the Green Party had understood its soon-to-be defected senator, Ms de Búrca, was in the running for a job on Maire Geoghegan-Quinn’s commission cabinet.

Senator Boyle said Fianna Fáil was not responsible for the job going to somebody else and that “every effort was made” to get her a position in Europe.

He said it was the rules of the European Commission rather than party-political manoeuvring which stymied her hopes of a plush Brussels’ post.

A letter to Green Party members on Saturday pointed out commissioners were obliged to be independent of the national parliaments who nominated them when selecting their staff.

Writing at the weekend Ms de Búrca said Mr Gormley had told her he had been “shafted” by the senior coalition partner on this occasion.

Mr Boyle said this was not the case and her claims were just a “personal perspective” of the events.

The European Commission has been trying to clamp down on cronyism in the appointment of cabinets by asking that staff represent the whole EU, not the nationality of the commissioner.

Ms de Búrca has not commented on increasingly bitter outbursts by her former parliamentary party colleagues since her shock resignation last Friday.

It is understood she is out of the country and has not explained the extent to which Mr Gormley and the Taoiseach had worked to get her a post in the first place.

Ms de Búrca, a recently failed European election candidate, had previously spoken out against public appointments for party political purposes.

Last year she said when places to positions like state boards were filled by ministers it lacked transparency.

“That is a form of political patronage. It is anti-democratic and unaccountable,” she said at the time. A job in Europe would have represented the latest in a series of lucrative appointments the Green Party leadership has gifted to its members.

However, as recently as last month Ms de Burca publicly claimed there had been no approaches made to get her a job with Ms Geoghegan-Quinn.

At a part think-in in Kildare she said in the absence of a formal offer she was happy to stay in the Seanad.

It appears that shortly after this gathering she cut all contact with the parliamentary party. Mr Boyle said he had not spoken to her recently as a result.

Ms de Búrca resigned from politics on Friday and her party colleagues said she had threatened to sully the name of Mr Gormley in the process.


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