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Kevin Cardiff Photo by: Google Images

Government to press ahead with Cardiff nomination despite embarrassing setback

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Kevin Cardiff Photo by: Google Images

The Irish government is to press ahead with plans to appoint controversial civil servant Kevin Cardiff to the European Court of Auditors – despite an embarrassing blow to his hopes.

Cardiff, the man in charge of the government department that over-estimated Ireland’s deficit by over $5billion dollars, has failed to clear the first hurdle in his bid to take up the top EU job.

A European Parliament committee voted against Cardiff’s nomination after interviewing him on Wednesday when his role in the Irish banking crisis also came under scrutiny.

The rejection by the committee – who passed all eight other nominees - has been described as an ‘embarrassment and a humiliation’ for the Irish government and the country by independent deputy Shane Ross.

But Deputy Prime Minister and Labor Party leader Eamon Gilmore has said the government will press ahead with its plans to nominate Cardiff, formerly secretary at the Department of Finance, to the $400,000 a year EU job.

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“The government was surprised by the vote, we understand that it did not reflect the discussion which took place,” Gilmore told the Irish parliament on Thursday morning.

Prime Minister Enda Kenny has said the cabinet will discuss Cardiff’s nomination on Thursday but he too is adamant that the nomination will proceed.

Only two other nominations to the European Court of Auditors have ever been rejected. This is the first time an Irish nominee has not secured parliament support.

European parliament member Proinsias De Rossa has also claimed that the head of the committee will nominate Cardiff for the position next month in spite of the failed vote.

Labor Party MEP De Rossa said: “She has informed me that she will be recommending acceptance of his nomination and that she regards the vote as not an accurate reflection of the hearing itself.

“It is for Mr Cardiff and the Government to decide if he should remain in the race. If they do I will support Kevin Cardiff. I believe he’s an honourable man, I believe he’s honest and he has all of the abilities necessary to do the job.”

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