Figures reveal voting records of Donegal TDs

Donegal South West TD Pearse Doherty has the best voting record of any Donegal TD in the new Dáil term.

Donegal South West TD Pearse Doherty has the best voting record of any Donegal TD in the new Dáil term.

Figures published this week show the Sinn Féin TD has not missed any of the 24 votes in the last term.

A new signing in system has produced records of how many votes TDs are present for after they have signed in to the Dáil.

TDs have to attend the Dáil for 120 days to claim the Travel and Accommodation Allowance (TAA) which allows TDs who, live the furthest from the Dáil to claim up to n38,000 a year.

Deputy Doherty missed none of the votes in the period, a total of 24, according to figures published in the Irish Independent. Donegal North East TD Charlie McConalogue had the lowest voting record. The Fianna Fáil TD missed seven votes and attended 16 that took place while he was signed in.

Fine Gael Deputy Joe McHugh had the second best record of voting while signed in - voting 23 times.

In Donegal South West Dinny McGinley attended 22 votes while figures were not supplied for how many he missed. As a junior minister the TAA system does not apply as he receives a second-home allowance. Independent TD Thomas Pringle voted 17 times and missed five that took place while signed in.

Deputy McConalogue, who is his party’s front bench spokesman on children, defended his voting record saying voting is not the only role a TD has to perform while in the Dáil. The Inishowen man has also been appointed to the Select Sub-Committee on Children and Youth Affairs and also the Select Sub-Committee on Investigations, Oversight and Petitions.

He said if he was attending every vote he would not be making the most of his time. Other duties included meetings as part of his role spokesman on children and attending committee meetings.

“Because of the fact there is not a tight margin between the government and the opposition, especially compared to the last government . . . there is not the same need to stay wedded to the Dáil chamber.

“Voting is not the only part of the role. You will have other duties. So if you don’t miss any votes you don’t have the opportunity to do other things which are important as well.”