Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dempsey's grand tour

Seems like Minister Dempsey has gotten himself into a spot of bother. You'd think after eVoting and going to Malta during the snow that he'd keep a low profile. But no, instead he clocked up either €13,000 or €100,000, depending on the source, in the government jet in a way that was completely unnecessary.

The Minister had a speaking slot at the MacGill summer school in Donegal mid afternoon. So he took the government jet up to Derry and then had his Garda driver take him the rest of the way to Glenties. After speaking he hightailed it back to Derry and flew to London. The following morning he had a top secret meeting in London and then came home again on the jet.

This jaunt raises some interesting questions about his routing
  • Since the Garda driver had to go from Dublin to Derry anyway, why didn't the Minister just take the car directly from Dublin/Navan to Glenties?
  • If he had to fly, why not take Aer Arann to Donegal? There is an early afternoon flight most days of the week and I'm sure that there would have been no shortage of FF volunteers to drive him down to Glenties.
  • Why not travel back to Dublin and get the last commercial flight to Heathrow or Gatwick instead of flying from Derry to London?
  • Why was the meeting the next morning arranged so early? If it had been delay by about 90 minutes he could have taken the early morning flight to Heathrow and made it?
It's not like the Minister's speech in Glenties said anything new. Dempsey has gone on record many times about his love of electoral list systems. Also was his participation in MacGill part of official government business or in a personal capacity? It's not like he is a member of the committee that has been looking into electoral reform or the minister with responsibility for the matter. Why wasn't Sean Ardagh the government representative?

This entire escapade just heaps more fuel on the FF funeral pyre. The sooner these chancers are out of office the better at this stage.

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