Lost at sea scheme - Vote leaves a bad taste

DESPITE the best efforts of the Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly, Fianna Fáil deputies yesterday drew a line under what has been a controversial and divisive issue.

The Oireachtas Agriculture Committee, voting in private, rejected Ms O’Reilly’s findings after months of deliberation.

She had argued that the scheme was administered improperly and that former fisheries minister Frank Fahey had used undue influence on how the scheme was administered. The great majority of the funds distributed under the scheme went to two of his constituents.

The committee met in private yesterday and has promised to publish its recommendations next week.

Nine out of the committee’s 14 members are Fianna Fáil deputies and the party also controls the chairman’s casting vote. If this is indeed the end of the matter, it leaves a bad taste and very many unanswered questions.


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