Is Varadkar’s Cabinet Guilty of Nepotism?

By Patrick Brogan

Reports claim that one-third of Leo Varadkar’s cabinet have at least one family member on the pay role. Most of these relatives are hired as drivers or secretarial assistants. Including the nine members of Varadkar’s panel, there are 30 TDs and two senators involved in such practices.

This doesn’t go anyway to dispelling the image that Leinster House is corrupt and a nepotism hotspot. Indeed, there have been tribunals into such matters. Helen McEntee and Catherine Byrne both have two relatives each employed under them.

A committee that reviews these matters must be put in place. Surely, there are more qualifiedpeople to take such roles. Family shouldn’t be disqualified just because they are related, but they must back it up with relevant experience and qualifications. Too often, we have seen people take political roles that were not up to task, and this starts at the bottom and works it way up.

Meanwhile, Varadkar has been meeting up with Canada’s Justin Trudeau. Trudeau has been pushing the CETA trade agreement on his travels in Europe. Questions have been raised about CETA and what it will mean for workers’ right, food quality and the power it will give corporations.


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