Statement from Senator Thomas Byrne
This morning’s statement by Taoiseach Enda Kenny about the Mahon Tribunal shows that he is continuing to fail the basic test of leadership on ethics in politics.
He continued his party’s deeply cynical campaign to ignore all implications of different reports for his party. He has refused to say anything whatsoever about what has been found about his party’s fundraising and the behaviour of various Fine Gael public representatives.
He has nothing to say about the failure of his party and leader to do anything about evidence that one of their representatives sought a bribe of 250,000.
This is now part of a pattern.
Last year a Tribunal report into the largest commercial contract ever awarded by the Irish state held about improper procedures, the coordinated provision of donations to Fine Gael ministers and the covering-up of a major donation from the recipient of the contract.
In the 12 months since then Enda Kenny has not made one statement about these matters, has submitted himself to no interview about them and held no press conference about them. What he has done is repeatedly appear with the person whose donations to Fine Gael were criticised by the Tribunal.
Enda Kenny is entitled to point to his personal integrity but he is not entitled to effectively dismiss the unequivocal evidence produced by 2 Tribunals about the standards in his party over a lengthy period.