An unsuccessful Labour Party Local Election candidate was appointed to the Board of Directors at the Irish Aviation Authority last month.

Former Clare county councillor Pascal Fitzgerald was made a director at the beginning of August.

A spokesperson for Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe said Mr Fitzgerald has been active in promoting Shannon Airport and tourism in the Shannon and Mid West area over the past decade.

Directors on the board of the Irish Aviation Authority are paid up to €13,000 a year, according to the authority's 2013 annual report.

Mr Fitzgerald, who is a publican, served as a councillor for ten years before he lost his seat in the Shannon area last May. He could not be contacted for comment.

The Department of Transport said the IAA carries out "a range of operational and regulatory functions and services relating to the safety and technical aspects of civil aviation.

"The Authority ensures that the Irish Civil Aviation operates to international and European safety standards and systems in accordance with international agreements."

Elsewhere, another former Labour Party councillor has been appointed to the Port of Waterford company.

Jack Walsh, who served for ten years on Waterford City Council, was recently appointed to the board that oversees port activity on the Suir estuary and around Waterford city.

He lost his seat in the Local Elections in May.

Mr Walsh was appointed to the new board of the company during the summer. A director at the company is entitled to €8,100 a year.

A spokesman for former Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said that his appointment was made through the public appointments process. 

Efforts to contact Mr Walsh today have so far proved unsuccessful.

Tánaiste Joan Burton has said that political involvement is not a "disbarment" from a State board.

Ms Burton said she had only heard of Mr Fitzgerald's appointment at lunchtime today.

She said that in relation to people appointed to boards, someone having any kind of political involvement was not disbarment to membership.

She said the critical issue was having people with relevant experience adding that they should not have everyone coming from Dublin 4.