Minister Paschal Donohoe Refuses to Answer Questions About Stone’s Contracts
Aontú Leader Peadar Tóibín TD questioned the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform today in the Dáil about the need for transparency in the democratic process. An Teachta Tóibín stated:
“Transparent declarations are vital to a functioning democracy. Why, because for decades there was a golden circle that bought power and influence through donations to Ministers. This created incredible damage in society”.
“The other side of this equation in this relationship is not being dealt with. Michael Stone was nominated to the board of the Land Development Agency shortly after the donation. That’s significant. Minister you named Mr Stone for the chair of the North East Inner city Initiative. That’s significant”.
“The Irish Mirror reported that your doner received €8.7m in Government payments over six years. Two companies of which Mr Stone was a director received at least 141 payments over six years – including for work in Leinster House. Many of these payments were made for contracts with the OPW which was part of your Department. Were you aware of any of these contracts contemporaneously, when they were made?
“Shockingly at this point the Minister refused to answer this simple questions but just talked down the clock. Given what has happened full transparency should be provided. Its not my job as an elected representative to accept the bonafides of any Minister on face value. My job is to challenge each Minister to ensure that administration in this country is open and fair. I have written to the Finance Committee to request that the Minister comes before the Committee to answer questions about the awarding of contracts”. CRIOCH