FF TD: O’Donoghue’s spending ‘unjustifiable’

Fianna Fáil's Mattie McGrath has broken party ranks to launch a scathing attack on Ceann Comhairle John O’Donoghue tonight.

“It [the expense spending] is unjustifiable and he can’t justify it, behaving like a latter-day prince – travelling around the world in the Government jet, I mean it is outrageous,” Mr McGrath said.

Mr McGrath, who entered the Dáil after the 2007 election, told Today FM’s ‘The Last Word’ that the expenses system in Leinster House was a gravy train.

Mr O’Donoghue today broke his silence on controversy over chauffeur-driven limousines, the Cheltenham festival and first-class travel, claiming he accepted some of the bills appeared high.

But in his letter to Dáil colleagues, Mr O’Donoghue said he expected to be treated with the same privilege as Government ministers at home and a visiting dignitary when abroad.

Mr McGrath warned the extent of allowances and expenses had damaged both Fianna Fáil and politics as a whole.

“They were living in a different world and I have learned it in the last two years to my disbelief,” he said.

“We need a bit of humility here and a bit of contrition saying this was wrong. This is very damaging to the body politic as well as Fianna Fáil.”

Opposition parties demanded a full apology from the Ceann Comhairle tonight claiming his explanation of lavish expenses claims was insufficient.

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