MEP Clare Daly has defended hiring the son of her party colleague Mick Wallace as an assistant in the European Parliament.
Ms Daly said told Europarl radio that Fionn Wallace was a "first class" honours graduate with a "great research track record".
Mr Wallace and Ms Daly are both members of Independents4Change party, and both won seats in the European Parliament elections in May.
Ms Daly said that everyone who had been hired by her and to go through a recruitment process run by the Parliament which required candidates to show evidence of qualifications.
On her Facebook page Ms Daly said: "I consider myself fortunate to have assembled an excellent team of highly qualified professionals to do the job they have been employed to do".
She added that she found it "disappointing" that journalists who had taken no interest in the political issues she raised in the European Parliament had "put together a sensational non-story about one of my staff members".