This comment appeared to contradict comments he made during the final Leaders’ Debate on RTÉ on Tuesday night, where he said he had “made an appointment that wasn’t needed”.
This was a fresh development, in which Mr Kenny had acknowledged picking Mr McNulty to fill a vacant seat in the Seanad, but claimed not to have been involved in the separate appointment to IMMA.
Yesterday lunchtime, at the final Fine Gael press conference of the general election campaign, Mr Kenny caused more confusion over the cronyism affair, which dogged the party in late 2014.
He claimed Arts Minister Heather Humphreys made the appointment, but that he accepted responsibility for debacle. “This was a line appointment by the minister, but I accept responsibility.”
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When pressed as to whether he had a role in Ms Humphrey’s decision, he insisted he didn’t.
Later, in an interview with the Last Word on Today FM, Mr Kenny said he now considered the matter to have been ‘dealt with’ and, despite claiming not to have been involved, asserted that he had taken responsibility for the IMMA nomination.
Speaking to reporters after the debate, the Taoiseach conceded the matter was not his finest hour. “I dealt with this in the Dáil. I accepted responsibility for the appointment by the line minister, I said it wasn’t my finest hour and I’ve changed the procedures entirely after that. Everybody now is appointed under the public appointments system — independently vetted.”
However, during the debate, Mr Kenny said he had a role in the appointment of the Fine Gael Seanad hopeful to the board of the IMMA.