[Sinn Fein]

23 June 2000

Hugh O'Flaherty - Gerry Adams calls for independent commission to consider nominations to Euro Investment Bank

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said today that if the Government insists on the nomination of the former Supreme Court judge, Mr Hugh O'Flaherty, to the European Investment Bank then it should go before a new independent public appointments commission which would consider it alongside other applications in open competition.

Mr Adams made the call when he opened the new Dublin South-West constituency office of Sinn Fein Dáil candidate, Councillor Seán Crowe, and Councillor Mark Daly. The Sinn Fein president said:

``The Government has to help to restore confidence in public life. One way to do this would be to establish an independent public appointments commission, with all-party backing and with representatives of civic society, which would review the methodology of nominations to prestigious positions and draw up a code of practice and regulations for the allocation of these.

``If the Government is insistent in going forward with Mr O'Flaherty's nomination, then they should put his name forward to this new commission along with other suitable candidates.''

Seán Crowe is expected to be one of Sinn Fein's main challengers for a Dáil seat in the upcoming general election. In last year's local elections, he came within 90 votes of topping the poll in Tallaght South with almost double the vote of high-profile Labour TD Pat Rabbitte. He also put in a strong showing in the European elections with 18,633 votes, ahead of Labour's sitting MEP, Bernie Malone, and Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins.

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