Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore stated that he was “mortified, outraged, unbelievably appalled…grotesquely angered, furiously enmaddened” and “sickened to the extent that he almost stomped a nearby homeless man to death” when accusations of nepotism were put to him by the opposition in the Dáil yesterday, when news of his wife’s new position in the Department of Education filtered through.
It has emerged that Ms. Carol Hanney will retain a €117,000 annual salary in Ruairi Quinn‘s department when her current post at Dun Laoghaire VEC is abolished. However, Ms Hanney will lose a public sector allowance worth around €4,800 which has been abolished as part of Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin‘s clampdown. The tough scaling-down programme sees VECs reduced from 33 to 16, with workers forced to leave their jobs and take up similar makey-uppy roles in other departments whilst legally retaining their massive salaries, minus some ridiculous bonuses that shouldn’t have been there in the first place.
It had previously been reported that Ms Hanney’s new job in the Department of Education would be worth at least €92,000 but annual accounts show that her salary for being Dun Laoghaire VEC chief executive was €117,000 in 2010.
Her appointment has sparked controversy among TDs, with Fianna Fail seeking more information from the Government about the process involved in Ms Hanney’s selection for the role. But Mr Gilmore said: “It’s disappointing that some people seem to think that a woman shouldn’t have a job because she is the wife of a powerful man”
Speaking on Newstalk 104fm, Gilmore said “‘wifeism‘ is a real problem in modern society, with the wives of influential and important men bearing the crushing brunt of people’s unwillingness to be tolerant…to accept others as different and embrace them. Black, white, man, woman, disabled, a wife. Our world is a cherished melting pot and the love creates harmony tears of a child makes a difference believe.”
Gilmore has also filed a lawsuit on the grounds of “wifal-motivated hatery and discrimination” against the State of Ireland, and if successful will be entitled to a new reparationary sum to be be paid by all citizens, in the region of €9m.
“I am hopeful that we can win, not just for Carol, but for wives everywhere” said Gilmore
Gilmore and his lookalike wife were in the news in 2010 for selling a 2 acre field to the OPW for a handy €525K.