[Sinn Fein]

17th January 2001

Harney flying around with head in clouds

Speaking after the revelation that Tainiste Mary Harney used a government plane to fly her to Leitrim to open an Off-Licence, Sinn Fein's Councillor Seán Crowe said:

``Is Mary Harney so out of touch with people on the ground that she cannot see what is wrong with spending thousands of pounds of taxpayers money on flying to Leitrim to open a friends Off-licence.

``Attempts to now suggest that this was an official engagement will not wash with those people who have watched this government behave with increasing arrogance and flipancy in relation to the use of state resources

``It's time Mary Harney and other government ministers climbed down from their ivory towers and began to address the issues of real concern for people. Maybe it's because our health, education and transports systems are in disarray that the Tainiste has chosen to fly around with her head in the clouds.'' ENDS

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