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Once more reputational damage has been done to whatever remaining integrity the Oireachtas has.
Revelations that FG Deputy Michelle Mulherin confirmed she made mobile phone calls to Kenya between 2011 and 2013 at a cost of €2,000 but is prepared to repay the cost to the taxpayer, renders her claim, that the calls were not of a personal nature, ridiculous.
If these calls were part of her parliamentary duties, as she claims, why would she offer to repay the cost to the State?
This has shades of Michael Healy-Rae TD agreeing to pay the cost of the 3,636 premium-rate phone calls made in Leinster House in support of his appearance on the superficial Beano-standard phone-in game show Celebrities Go Wild in 2007.
Inflicting further damage on our parliament is the disgraced former minister, Michael Lowry who engaged in a squalid attempt to influence the Taoiseach in the re-appointment of an out-going member of the board of the National Transport Authority.
It was not surprising, but no less sordid, that Mr Lowry told RTÉ’s News At One that these issues would not be uncommon or unusual, “that it happens in the Dáil all the time”.
A strictly enforced policy of disqualification from employment in state bodies must be pursued if it is established that canvassing by politicians on behalf of family, friends or cronies has been established.
What is most depressing is the probability that these TDs will both be re-elected.
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