TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has finally admitted it was him who appointed John McNulty to a State board in an effort to get him into the Seanad – after two years of denying any role in it.
During a debate on cronyism on the RTE Prime Time debate Mr Kenny admitted he appointed Kilcar Fine Gael member John McNulty to the board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art (Imma).
Mr McNulty was the Fine Gael candidate for the Seanad by-election and was appointed to the board by Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys to ensure his election.
Mr Kenny confirmed during the debate he had made the decision, one he “shouldn’t have made”.
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams interjected to tell presenter Miriam O’Callaghan that she had a ‘scoop’ – saying this was the first time the Taoiseach admitted his role in the process.
Up until now, said Mr Adams, Mr Kenny had denied any role in the process.
The incident has been described by commentators as an incredible blunder by the Taoiseach.
Mr McNulty later resigned after just 13 days on the board amid a cronyism crisis for Fine Gael. He did not attend a single meeting, enter the company’s Dublin headquarters or meet the IMMA directors.
But his extremely short tenure on IMMA gave him the necessary credentials to apply for the Seanad through the Education and Cultural panel.
Tonight Mr Kenny said on the RTE debate that “it has all changed now”.
There was no clear winner in tonight’s TV debate with all leaders under pressure at times.