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Tony Holohan’s job decision “should have gone to the Cabinet,” says Tánaiste Leo Varadkar

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TONY Holohan’s appointment to Trinity College “should have gone to Cabinet,” said Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.

The Fine Gael leader said the proposed delegation “should at least have had the Minister’s blessing”, citing Stephen Donnelly of Fianna Fáil.

Mr Varadkar said he saw Health Secretary Robert Watt’s report on the Holohan affair, but did not say if he pinned any blame.

“But I think the whole thing could have been handled much better. I think that’s pretty obvious at this stage.

“I received the report last night, I haven’t had a chance to read it or discuss it with the Taoiseach or Minister Donnelly. We’ll probably do that today or tomorrow.”

Green leader Eamon Ryan will also be consulted, he said.

Mr Varadkar said he also saw no reason why the Watt report should not be made public.

When asked about the controversy surrounding Katherine Zappone, as the move would have placed a similar burden on the taxpayer without facing open competition, Mr Varadkar replied: “Well I can see how people would draw the parallels, but I think they are very different circumstances.

“That (Zappone) was a political appointment. This (holohan) was very much in the realm of a staff secondment.

“But given the large amounts of money at stake, especially research funding, I think it should have gone to the cabinet or at least got the minister’s approval.

“That didn’t happen and I think that’s the problem as far as I can see.”

Mr Varadkar said he believed Minister Donnelly “like all of us at some point” knew Dr. Holohan would take up a professorship at Trinity.

“But the details of it being a delegation and all that… no minister was aware of that until recently.”
dr Holohan’s retirement from public service “is a loss from my point of view,” he added.

“I hope that somehow and sometime in the future there will be a way back into public service for him.”

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/tony-holohan-job-decision-should-have-gone-to-cabinet-says-tanaiste-leo-varadkar-41545464.html Tony Holohan’s job decision “should have gone to the Cabinet,” says Tánaiste Leo Varadkar

Fry Electronics Team

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