Trinity Young Fine Gael (YFG) has denounced the appointment of John McNulty to the board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art days before his Fine Gael nomination for a Seanad seat.
The move comes a day after Minister Heather Humphreys defended McNulty’s candidacy to fill the seat vacated by MEP Deirdre Clune.
In a statement to Trinity News, the Trinity branch of YFG said the appointment is “against the ideals of YFG” and “a return to old school cronyism and cynical politics.”
It cautioned that “the transparency and trust that has been slowly returning to politics in this country has fallen again due to a lapsing back into old ways.”
Speaking to Trinity News, Richard Bonham, the secretary of Trinity YFG, reiterated the branch’s disapproval of the move. “It’s disappointing because we feel the party has brought the country in a positive direction, whereas this kind of appointment only moves us several steps back.”
He said many young party members were unhappy with the decision, and that Trinity YFG, as an autonomous body, had felt the need to hold the senior party “to account”.
Bonham said that the statement had not been approved by the YFG national executive, but that he hoped “they would be willing to stand with the majority.”
Dale McDermott, president of YFG, declined to comment on the statement, telling Trinity News that the executive would issue a statement on the appointment later tonight.
UPDATE: The statement later issued by YFG expressed “regret” at McNulty’s nomination to the board. McDermott said members of the youth wing “take issue with the entire process of nominating Mr. McNulty to the Board of the IMMA and very much regret the actions in recent days.” “We believe that they are not in keeping with the Government’s political reform agenda,” he added.