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Paul Murphy claimed €80 a day Dáil expenses during Jobstown trial

Paul Murphy
Paul Murphy

Solidarity TD Paul Murphy claimed €80 a day Dáil expenses every day during the trial of the Jobstown Seven – though he is recorded as having attended Leinster House just ONCE in May.

The Verification of Attendance figures for April and May show that Murphy was in Leinster House just six times in April but only once in May, on Friday the 12th.

A spokesman explained that the data referred to “attendance at Leinster House” and did not require a TD to be present in the Dáil chamber for him or her to be recorded. TDs check in to the Dáil with an electronic fob.

Despite attending for just one day, Murphy claimed €2,445.83 in expenses for the month, the latest figures for payment of the Parliamentary Standard Allowance show.

The Solidarity TD attended the court every day and did not speak in the Dáil for the duration of the trial.

Murphy’s annual salary is €90,000 – though he previously said he gave some of that to the Anti Austerity Alliance and the Socialist Party. 

His annual expenses are, like other Dublin-based TDs, close to €30,000 and are tax free. They are intended to cover travel, constituency office costs, leaflets, web hosting, advertising and other costs incurred “in the performance of their duties”.

When asked about the claim, Paul Murphy told the Sunday World: “At the end of every year, Solidarity TDs repay any unused expenses, as I did last year. 

“At the end of this year, I will again repay any money which has not been used for legitimate expenses in my role as a TD in representing people.”

The highest claim in May came from Independent Cork South West TD Michael Collins, who claimed €4,534.98.

The next 10 highest claims for May came from Danny and Michael Healy Rae who claimed €4,478.75 each in May, Jim Daly (FG), Martin Ferris (SF), Brendan Griffin (FG) and Aindrias Moynihan (FF) claimed €4,422.08, John Brassil (FF), Pearse Doherty (SF), Margaret Murphy O’Mahony (FF) and Michael Moynihan (FF), who claimed €4,365.41. Brendan Griffin is recorded has having been in Leinster House once in each of the months of April and May.

The travel and accommodation expenses are paid out on an unvouched basis and takes no account of how the TD travels to the Dáil.

Some TDs use their own cars and avail of the free city centre parking in Leinster House. Others use public transport or walk or cycle – and several rural TDs have car sharing arrangements. 

TDs are chosen at random at the end of each year to have their expenses verified in as far as that is possible.

TDs much register attendance for at least 120 days a year to qualify for the travel allowance, which ranges from €9,000 a year to €34,000.