Expenses claimed and repayments revealed

Donegal Junior Minister Dinny McGinley was among three TD’s who were paid more than €52,000 in allowances for the last 10 months of 2010, it was revealed yesterday.

Donegal Junior Minister Dinny McGinley was among three TD’s who were paid more than €52,000 in allowances for the last 10 months of 2010, it was revealed yesterday.

The three were former Independent TD Jackie Healy Rae (Kerry South), former Cork South West deputy PJ Sheehan and the Donegal South West TD Dinny McGinley, now a Minister of State.

A number of TDs and Senators also made repayments to the Oireachtas for not reaching the required number of attendance days to be paid the full allowance. The biggest repayment of 12,197 was made by former Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal North East Jim McDaid, which suggested he was not present for at least 50 per cent of sitting days in 2010.

Under the new system, TDs and Senators are paid travel allowances based on their distance from Leinster House.

The Oireachtas payment figures for 2010 only cover the period since the new allowance system became operational between March and December.

Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill FF, Donegal South West, made a repayemnt of 2,943.

An Oireachtas spokesman said it published details of payments for 2010 as part of a policy of providing details of allowance payments to members in a clear and transparent manner.

“Members are provided with an allowance up-front but under this new system, they return some of their allowance if do not attend Leinster House for the required number of days each year,” the spokesman said. “This helps to make the system more efficient as well as transparent.”