Frank Fahey (politician)

Frank Fahey (born 6 June 1951) is an Irish property developer and former Fianna Fáil politician who served as Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources from 2000 to 2002 and as a Minister of State in various roles. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Galway West constituency from 1982 to 1992 and 1997 to 2011. He was a Senator for the Labour Panel from 1993 to 1997.[1]

Frank Fahey
Minister of State
2004–2007Justice, Equality and Law Reform
2002–2004Enterprise, Trade and Employment
1997–2000Children
1998–2000Justice, Equality and Law Reform
1998–2000Education and Science
1997–2000Health and Children
1991–1992Tourism, Transport and Communications
1989–1991Tourism and Transport
1987–1992Education
Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources
In office
27 January 2000 – 6 June 2002
TaoiseachBertie Ahern
Preceded byMichael Woods
Succeeded byDermot Ahern
Teachta Dála
In office
June 1997 – February 2011
In office
February 1982 – November 1992
ConstituencyGalway West
Senator
In office
12 February 1993 – 24 June 1997
ConstituencyLabour Panel
Personal details
Born (1951-06-06) 6 June 1951 (age 73)
Galway, Ireland
Political partyFianna Fáil
Alma materUniversity College Galway

Life before politics edit

Frank Fahey was born in June 1951 in Galway. He was educated at St Mary's College, Our Lady's College and University College Galway. He was a schoolteacher before he entered politics.[citation needed]

Ministerial career edit

Fahey was first elected to Dáil Éireann at the February 1982 general election.[2] In 1987, he was appointed by the government of Charles Haughey to the post of Minister of State at the Department of Education with responsibility for Youth and Sport. He was re-appointed in July 1989, with additional responsibility as Minister of State at the Department of Tourism and Transport from September 1989. He was not retained as a minister when Albert Reynolds came to office in February 1992.

He lost his Dáil seat at the 1992 general election and was appointed to Seanad Éireann, serving in the 20th Seanad until 1997. He returned to the Dáil at the 1997 general election and in the new government of Bertie Ahern, he was appointed Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children with responsibility as Minister of State for Children. The role was expanded in 1998 with additional appointments as Minister of State at the Department of Education and Science and at the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform. In January 2000, he was appointed to cabinet as Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources.

Following the re-election of the incumbent government at the 2002 general election, Fahey was demoted to the post of Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment with responsibility for Labour Affairs. In a reshuffle in 2004, he was appointed as Minister of State at the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform with responsibility for Equality.

He was re-elected at the 2007 general election but not appointed to any ministerial office.[3] He was, however, appointed to head the joint Oireachtas committee on Transport.[4]

Controversies edit

Lost at Sea scheme edit

While Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources in 2000, Fahey launched the Lost at Sea scheme to compensate fishermen whose vessels had been lost at sea. In 2004, following a complaint from a late applicant (who had been turned down), the Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly recommended to the department that latecomers should be considered, saying that the schemes had a "serious defect" in having contacted some fishing families and not others. Via a freedom of information request, The Sunday Business Post found that Fahey had discussed the scheme with two constituents, who later received three quarters (around €2m) of the overall compensation, prior to the announcement - and had written to them about their successful applications prior to the closing date. In 2007, the Standards in Public Office Commission found no problems with Fahey's conduct.[5][6] In 2009, the Ombudsman published a full report into the scheme, again recommending that late applicants receive compensation, but it was blocked from discussion in the Oireachtas by the government.[7][8]

Corrib gas project edit

In 2000, one of Fahey's last acts as Minister of State for the Marine and Natural Resources was to approve the foreshore licence for the controversial[9] Corrib gas project.[10] In 2002, in connection with this project, he approved the sale of a large area of Irish national forestry at Bellanaboy to Shell Oil for the building of a gas processing site, which caused much controversy.[11]

Investments and property edit

The Irish Times reported in 2006 that in 1994, when Fahey was a senator, he became involved in establishing a hair and beauty salon business in Moscow, involving an investment of over £200,000 (€254,000).[12][13] Fahey did not officially declare the interest and at first denied involvement with the salon. Later, he admitted a connection, saying he had travelled to Moscow "as an ordinary citizen to support the investors including my wife who were attempting to set up a hair salon there...the whole thing was part of a regional political campaign by a number of individuals to do damage to my integrity, character and good name".[14]

Fahey has invested in properties in countries including Ireland, France, the US, Dubai and Belgium. He also declared an interest in a construction company and a share portfolio in the Dáil Register of Members Interests.[15][16]

In June 2009, Green Party leader Trevor Sargent accused Fahey in the Dáil of tax avoidance and making inappropriate decisions as a minister, and called on the Taoiseach to sack him.[17]

Loss of seat edit

The 2011 general election was disastrous for Fianna Fáil[18] and Fahey lost his seat, his first preference vote declining to 5.7%.[19] He had said in November 2010: "I have no illusions that I will lose my seat".[20] During a public meeting in the run up to the election he and government advisor Alan Aherne were booed and heckled.[21]

References edit

  1. ^ "Frank Fahey". Oireachtas Members Database. Archived from the original on 7 November 2018. Retrieved 28 May 2009.
  2. ^ "Frank Fahey". ElectionsIreland.org. Archived from the original on 3 September 2007. Retrieved 28 May 2009.
  3. ^ "Fahey left out of junior ministers line-up". The Irish Times. 20 June 2007. Archived from the original on 15 December 2019. Retrieved 7 March 2009.
  4. ^ "Representatives from Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport to discuss Transport 21 with Transport Committee". House of the Oireachtas website. Archived from the original on 7 June 2011. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
  5. ^ John Burns (4 April 2010). "Going overboard". The Sunday Times.
  6. ^ Felle, Tom (4 October 2009). "Ombudsman trawls for details of Lost at Sea compensation". Sunday Business Post. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
  7. ^ McGee, Harry (15 October 2009). "Oireachtas group rejects Lost at Sea scheme report". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 25 January 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
  8. ^ "Call to reverse fishermen decision". Belfast Telegraph. 12 May 2010. Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
  9. ^ Fleming, Diarmaid (3 August 2005). "Bitter dispute over gas pipeline". BBC News. Archived from the original on 4 March 2006. Retrieved 21 July 2007.
  10. ^ "Green light for Corrib gas field". RTÉ News. 15 April 2002. Archived from the original on 23 March 2007. Retrieved 19 July 2007.
  11. ^ Ryan, Áine (8 May 2007). "Government blamed at hearing". Mayo News. Archived from the original on 21 August 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
  12. ^ "Business deals in Russia often involve Mafia". The Irish Times. 13 June 2006. Archived from the original on 24 October 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
  13. ^ "Moscow allegation places controversy laiden Frank Fahey under the government's glare". Sunday Tribune. 18 June 2006. Archived from the original on 6 June 2010.
  14. ^ Sheehan, Maeve (16 July 2006). "Greens make political hay while the sun shines hard on junior minister". Irish Independent. Archived from the original on 8 October 2007. Retrieved 14 July 2007.
  15. ^ "Fahey tops Dáil property ownership list". RTÉ News. 13 March 2008. Archived from the original on 14 January 2011. Retrieved 7 August 2010.
  16. ^ Ryan, Vincent (6 September 2009). "Fahey partners focus of probe by Nationwide". The Irish Independent. Archived from the original on 2 January 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  17. ^ "Sargent to Taoiseach: Fire Frank Fahey". Irish Examiner. 29 June 2006. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007.
  18. ^ Doyle, Kilian (27 February 2011). "Kenny leads Fine Gael to win as Fianna Fáil vote collapses". Irish Times. Archived from the original on 1 November 2011. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  19. ^ "Galway West". RTÉ News. 2 March 2011. Archived from the original on 28 February 2011. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  20. ^ Andrews, Kernan (25 November 2010). "'I know my seat is a goner in the election' admits Frank Fahey". Galway Advertiser. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
  21. ^ Siggins, Lorna (19 January 2011). "TD and finance adviser booed at public meeting". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 20 January 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
Political offices
Preceded by Minister of State at the Department of Education
1987–1992
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of State at the Department of Tourism and Transport
1989–1992
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of State for Children
1997–2000
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources
2000–2002
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment
2002–2004
With: Michael Ahern
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of State at the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform
2004–2007
Succeeded by