The Donegal Democrat’s investigations have found an anonymous allegation that Senator Brian O’Domhnaill double-claimed for expenses to be both misleading and false.
The anonymous document, which has been circulated to national and local media, falsely alleges that Senator Brian O’Domhnaill double-claimed for expenses on six occasions in 2006 and 2007. Because the information is quite detailed, it would seem, at a glance, to have come from an authoritative source.
The Donegal Democrat investigated each of the alleged instances, where it appeared that the Senator had made claims from both Donegal County Council (as a councillor) and Údarás na Gaeltachta (as a board member). In each instance, it was found that the Senator’s claims were entirely legitimate.
For example, the anonymous document shows a mileage claim to Údarás, dated 27-29 April for a board meeting, and a claim to DCC for travel to an SPC Training Seminar in Carrickmacross on April 27. In fact, the Senator attended both events. He attended the event in Carrickmacross on Thursday, April 27 then left to travel to Kerry. The Údarás meeting took place from 10am-1pm on Friday, April 28 and he then travelled back to Donegal on Saturday, April 28.
Each of the five other alleged incidents set out in the anonymous document involves similar circumstances. The claims would appear, at first glance, to overlap but, on proper investigation, it is clear that they do not.
Senator O’Domhnaill told the Democrat: “I have my diary for 2006 and 2007 and I know that I am on solid ground. I can stand over any expenses claims that I have made. It seems clear to me that whoever is circulating this nonsense has gone to a lot of effort and must have their own agenda.”