November 11, 2021
Minister Ryan has learned no lessons from ‘Zapponegate’ – Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin Senator Lynn Boylan has said she is disappointed with the response from Green Party Minister of State Ossian Smyth today when she raised the lack of a transparent appointment process for the Climate Change Advisory Council.

Speaking following her Commencement Matter in the Seanad this morning, Senator Boylan said:

“It’s clear from Minister of State Ossian Smyth’s remarks in the Seanad this morning that no lessons have been learned from ‘Zapponegate’.

“Apparently Minister Ryan should be able to appoint who he likes without any process at all. Now if that doesn’t sound exactly like the arrogance we heard from Minister Coveney on the Zappone appointment then I don’t know what does.

“Nobody is saying that the people appointed are not qualified, nobody is calling into question their expertise but if they’re the best people for the job, they have nothing to fear from a competitive process.

“During pre-legislative scrutiny, the Climate Committee heard about the importance of the appointment process in guaranteeing the independence of the Climate Council. If the Council is to hold the Government to account when they fail to meet targets, its independence will be essential.

“That’s why the Climate Committee’s pre-legislative scrutiny report unanimously recommended the appointments ‘should be through an open, competitive, and transparent process’.

“Sinn Féin put detailed amendments forward to the Climate Bill calling for an appointments process like the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Council.”

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