Outgoing EU auditor says Cardiff is ‘credible’

KEVIN CARDIFF, the Government’s controversial nomination to the European Court of Auditors, has been described as a very credible appointment by the outgoing Irish auditor, Eoin O’Shea.

Mr Cardiff — who attended the infamous meeting when the last government decided to give a blanket guarantee to the banks — was in Brussels yesterday canvassing support for the job.

He is hoping to win the support of the large political groupings in the parliament, the Socialists, to which the Labour party is attached, and the European People’s Party (EPP) to which Fine Gael belongs.

However, the signs are he will get a very tough grilling from MEPs during his hearing in the European Parliament on November 23.

The current auditor, accountant and barrister Eoin O’Shea, who has been in the job just two years, said he had met Mr Cardiff and thought he was a credible candidate.

Mr O’Shea replaced Máire Geoghegan-Quinn for the final two years of her seven-year stint when she became Ireland’s Commissioner. He got the unanimous support of the committee following his hearing and one of the highest votes in the parliament afterwards.

But Mr Cardiff’s nomination has caused some controversy in the parliament, especially over the accounting error which meant €3.6 billion of debt was not noticed for some time by the Department of Finance.

Some MEPs were also upset that Mr Cardiff told the Public Accounts Committee that the EU job would be “a dawdle”, and led some Fine Gael MEPs to question his nomination by the party.

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