Last week was a bad week for Deputy Michael Healy-Rae, affectionately known in his home constituency as ‘Dolly’ because he is seen as the clone of his father.
Michael Healy-Rae could not personally have made the more than 3,0636 telephone calls that were made on his behalf so that he could win RTÉ’s Celebrities Go Wild programme, but he rightly agreed to pay the €2,639 that they cost the taxpayer.
“If things are going to be investigated the whole use of phones in the Houses of the Oireachtas should be looked into and checked,” Mr Healy-Rae contends. He is right. And the same should apply to the appointment of public officials to various boards, such as the governing board of the Citizens Information Bureau, for which Mr Healy-Rae was getting €5,895 a year.
Once elected to the Dáil, he should have resigned all other outside jobs. That should apply to all members of the Oireachtas. There should be no question of politicians, who already collect full-time salaries, doing outside jobs.
Minister Joan Burton should be congratulated for ending this particular abuse by Mr Healy-Rae, but let’s hope that if there are others engaging in similar activities, such abuse will be terminated immediately.
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