Máire Whelan Controversy Mars Varadkar’s First Week

image from: By Jean Housen – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27723918

By Patrick Brogan

The ongoing political and media furore is a black mark against the Fine Gael-led Government in Varadkar’s first week in office as the Taoiseach.

The Government has been accused of taking part in parish politics in Máire Whelan’s appointment to the Court of Appeal. Whelan was the Attorney General under Enda Kenny’s stewardship. In Kenny’s last cabinet meeting, Whelan’s appointment to the Court of Appeal was approved.

Fianna Fáil have been very vocal in their criticism of this move and of Máire Whelan herself. Vincent Browne has said numerous times that the proper procedures were not followed in this authorisation. Fine Gael‘s defence of this has been vague at times, indeed this might be deliberate.

Varadkar inherited this mess to some extent, but his handling of this has left a lot to be desired. Also, the media reporting of this is poor. They have gone after from what I can see are close to non-issues in relation to this, like the reopening of Step-a-Side Garda station.

Meanwhile, there is a bigger story rumbling along in the background. This is the PAC inquiry into Garda financial practices. This has a bigger implication than that of the Máire Whelan story. But the media would rather focus on Varadkar’s Love Actually reference.


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