DUBLIN: A TV current affairs programme hosted by two former spin
doctors turned lobbyists, is to be axed after controversy over their
failure to disclose a conflict of interest.
Later with Finlay and Dunlop featured Fergus Finlay, a former spin
doctor for the Irish Labour Party who heads the lobbying arm of Dublin
PR firm Wilson Hartnell, and Frank Dunlop, a former government press
secretary with his own Dublin agency.
Dunlop was dropped when it was revealed he was being called as a witness
by a tribunal investigating allegations of planning corruption, an issue
debated on the programme. Then it was revealed that Finlay had
guaranteed a pounds 22,000 loan for the Irish Labour Partywhich was then
The affair has led to renewed calls for a register of lobbyists and
Earlier this year, Paddy Duffy, political adviser to Taoiseach Bertie
Ahern, had become a director of PR firm Dillon Consultants while still
on the government payroll (PR Week, 25 June ).
But the government voted down a Labour bill to register lobbyists and
has failed to introduce its own legislation.
Edited by David McCormack.