Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin has said the Taoiseach’s contention that Minister Heather Humphreys appointed John McNulty to the Board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) ‘in her own right’ is simply not believable.
Speaking in Roscommon this afternoon Deputy Martin said: “I welcome the confirmation from the Taoiseach that he is not voting for Mr McNulty in the forthcoming Seanad bye-election. I find it surprising though that he has reiterated his initial position that Mr McNulty’s nomination to the Board of IMMA was made by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys in her own right as Minister. This clearly is not what happened. We know that Minister Humphreys was approached about Mr. McNulty by a Fine Gael party official prior to his subsequent appointment.
“This approach was totally inappropriate but what makes matters worse is that the Minister cannot be held accountable for this decision in the Dáil. Every opportunity Fianna Fáil has sought to have this issued aired in the Chamber with Minister Humphreys has been shot down.
“By not making a full and frank statement on this issue the Taoiseach is being allowed to make it up as he goes along. Last week he told us it was an unnamed Fine Gael headquarters official that passed Mr McNulty’s CV to Minister Humphreys and then she appointed him to the IMMA Board. The Taoiseach is again trying to bring Minister Humphreys back into the fray while at the same time instructing her not to say anything at all.
“It is not tenable or sustainable for the Taoiseach to maintain the position that Minister Humphreys was acting in her own right as a Minister when making this appointment and at the same time gagging the Minister from taking questions on the matter. The longer this spectacle goes on the more it will damage the Taoiseach’s credibility and that of his government.”