Paschal Donohoe’s taxpayer-funded former ministerial driver was moonlighting as an IT project manager at Fine Gael party headquarters.
Donohoe won’t say if he was aware the man was also working for Fine Gael while employed full time as his ministerial driver. Fine Gael has refused to say if the former driver was paid for his consultancy work with the party.
Civilian ministerial drivers must not “engage in private practice or be connected with any outside business which would interfere with the performance of official duties,” according to their contract of employment.
Donohoe appointed the career IT manager as his €36,000-a-year publicly funded civilian driver in August 2016. In January 2022 he was replaced with a garda driver following a change in government policy.
Before this appointment, from March 2013 to June 2016, Fine Gael employed the driver as an IT operations project manager.
Though already working full time as Donohoe’s driver, in 2018 Fine Gael again hired the man – this time as a consultant operations manager.
According to his Linkedin profile he provided “specialist consultancy on election preparations and a CRM procurement project” from July 2018 until July 2019.
Ministerial drivers can only engage in political campaign work during election periods and must use their annual leave to do so according to a 2009 Department of Finance circular.
Donohoe, Fine Gael and the driver all declined to answer questions put to them by The Ditch.