Independent Alliance Divided on Begg Appointment But Seamus Healy TD calls for Resignation of Begg and Burton in the Light of the Findings of The Banking Inquiry
“The Independent Alliance is divided over the governments appointment of David Begg, the former leader of the ICTU,as chairman of the Pensions Authorty. Fergal Quinn, president of the Alliance, and Senator Gerard Craughwell have told colleagues that they do not want Begg to step back from the appointment, which was made by Joan Burton, the Tánaiste. …………………………………
Seamus Healy (who is not a member of the Alliance-PH), a Tipperary TD, yesterday called on Begg and Burton to resign in the light of the findings of the Banking Inquiry. Begg served on the board of the Bank from 2003 to 2007″.—–Sunday Times Jan 24
Fergal Quinn, former owner of Superquinn Supermarket chain was also Chair of An Post and dealt on behalf of an Post as an employer with David Begg as then general secretary of the Communication Workers Union.
Gerard Craughwell, past president of TUI, is a former chair of Fine Gael in Dunlaoire but now sits as an independent. He will be running for re-election on one of the panels for which county councillors are the majority electors. ICTU is a nominating body for one of the panels.
Shane Ross and all the Independent Alliance TDs voted against the FINANCIAL EMERGENCY MEASURES IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST BILL (FEMPI) in the Dáil. This act imposes penalties by law on workers whose unions refuse to comply with a government-ICTU public service agreement which extends additional work for 2 years. This is an anti-union measure, proposed by a Labour minister,which is incompatible with the concept of free trade unions. In the Seanad, Craughwell proposed amendments but failed to call a recorded vote against the Bill. Fergal Quinn also failed to oppose the Bill.
Seamus Healy TD and Workers and Unemployed Action (WUA) have no connection with the Independent Alliance. This is because the Alliance is not opposed in principle to going into coalition with Fianna Fáil and/or Fine Gael. Shane Ross and Fergal Quinn are self-confessed capitalist politicians. During the boom Shane Ross complained that Sean Fitzptrick of Anglo-Irish Bank was not considered for appointment as head of the Bank of Ireland. Seamus Healy supported the motion of no confidence in Joan Burton on the grounds that David Begg was unsuitable for such an appointment because of his membership of the board of the Central Bank when it allowed the Irish Financial institutions including the banks as a whole to borrow 50% of GDP.