The European Parliament has voted to back Kevin Cardiff's appointment to the European Court of Auditors.

521 MEPs voted in favour of the nomination, with 128 voting against and 34 abstentions.

Several Irish MEPs initially raised concerns about his nomination by the Government.

Last night the European People's Party - the largest group in the European Parliament - said it had unanimously decided to support Mr Cardiff, and expected all of its MEPs to follow the party line.

The Socialist group had already pledged its support.

Three weeks ago Mr Cardiff's nomination was rejected by 12-11 by the Budgetary Control Committee.

The vote was shrouded in controversy when it emerged that the incumbent member from Ireland on the court, Eoin O'Shea, had lobbied a number of committee members against Mr Cardiff's nomination.

Mr Cardiff's candidacy was initially overshadowed by the controversy over his role in the €3.6bn accounting error that came to light in October and over his role in the events that led to the collapse in the Irish banking sector.