TAOISEACH Micheal Martin has defended Attorney General Helen McEntee after it emerged that she had kept public on behalf of Tayto Park owner, Ray Coyle, during Covid-19 restrictions.
McEntee’s relationship with Mr Coyle has been in the spotlight in recent weeks after it emerged when he donated €4,200 to her campaign through three separate companies he owns.
The minister was forced to hand over most of the money because it violated political funding laws.
She said she has not yet received any other donations from Mr Coyle, although he attended an event organized by her local electoral organization from which she received 5,000 euros.
She also countered the accounts of a Sipo official who claimed he had been told by the minister’s congressional aide that they were payments “from three of Miss McEntee’s uncles”. Ms. McEntee has publicly stated this has not been said.
Speaking in London on Sunday, Mr Martin confirmed that he was not seeking explanation from the Minister or her party leader, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, about her relationship with Mr Coyle.
“I think these are issues to be dealt with by Sipo and in my view the Minister has complied with Sipo’s requests on this matter and has committed to Sipo,” he said.
Documents released to the Irish Independent by Freedom of Information show Meath East TD contacted Taoiseach’s department, citing Mr Coyle’s case for being allowed to reopen his theme park in December. 2020 as the Government relaxes restrictions ahead of Christmas.
Tayto Park, in Ashbourne, Co Meath, then reopened in the weeks before Christmas but was forced to close at the end of the month when Level 5 restrictions were reintroduced.
Meanwhile, in April 2021, Ms McEntee said she was “pushling” to ensure Tayto Park could reopen “as soon as possible” when the country reopens for a second time.
Mr Martin said he had no specific information on lobbying by one of his own Cabinet ministers but added: “Generally speaking, in society, a lot of people at different times across the globe. Covid-19 has given representation regarding restrictions and guidelines etc. above.
“It’s pretty common across society and you know it’s just a fact of Covid and the government broadly says, as we know it, to follow the public health advice and do everything possible. working with the interests of the people and public health above all else.”
https://www.independent.ie/news/taoiseach-defends-helen-mcentee-over-tayto-park-representations-41441628.html Taoiseach defends Helen McEntee against Tayto . Park representatives