The new Fine Gael-led government has been embarrassed after one of its members hired a new assistant on a lavish wage – his wife!
Dublin member of parliament Alan Farrell has hired his barrister spouse Emma Doyle as his parliamentary assistant on a salary of up to $75,000.
The appointment was made after Farrell failed to get his wife elected to their local Council in his place after his successful general election campaign.
The local Fine Gael party in Dublin North rejected Doyle’s credentials as a direct replacement on Fingal County Council just days before she took up her new role.
The Irish Independent has reported that Doyle, a barrister by profession, sent out an email to Farrell’s political colleagues informing them her husband’s new mobile phone number.
“Please note that Deputy Alan Farrell has changed his mobile number,” Doyle wrote. “Kind regards, Emma Doyle, Parliamentary Assistant to Alan Farrell TD.”
The paper notes that parliamentary assistants can earn between $60,000 and $75,000 per year, which is paid for by the State.
The move has caused embarrassment for Fine Gael, the majority party in the new Irish government.
Their junior partners in power, the Labor Party, have recommended to its TDs that they do not hire family members.
Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein have issued similar edicts their members.