Fine Gael minister says Dara Murphy should pay back expenses

Fine Gael minister says Dara Murphy should pay back expenses
Outgoing TD Dara Murphy

A Fine Gael minister has suggested Dara Murphy should pay back Dáil expenses he claimed despite being largely absent over the past two years.

The outgoing Cork North Central TD insisted that he has been “compliant” with Leinster House rules around claiming full expenses and attendance of the Dáil.

Communications Minister Richard Burton said Mr Murphy now needs to show his expense claims were justifiable.

Mr Bruton said: “Now he needs to account for what claims he made and whether those claims were justifiable.

“I mean, a lot of questions have surfaced in the media and they do have to be answered, I think it’s important that the committee on members’ interests investigate this and thrash it out," Mr Bruton said.

People ultimately have to be accountable for what they do.

However, the minister of state at the Department of Finance, Patrick O’Donovan went further by suggesting that Mr Murphy should repay his expenses.

“I don’t know when he was in Leinster House or what he was doing in Leinster House,” said Mr O’Donovan.

“If there is any issue in relation to sailing close to the wind, then I think he should probably look to see is there reimbursement that can be done.”

Mr Murphy has been criticised for his absences from the Dáil since 2017 as he has been working for the European People’s Party (EPP) in Europe.

The TD still claimed his €96,000 annual salary, despite the fact that he was not in the Dáil or his constituency for much of the time.

Mr O’Donovan said the issue of TDs having jobs outside of Leinster House also needs to be looked at, as he “finds it hard” to understand how a TD could have a second job and still be able to clock into the Dáil for the required 120 days each year.

“I don’t know how anybody could be a representative of a constituency and have an outside interest based on the volume of time it requires to be a TD in the first place,” he said on Today With Sean O’Rourke.

Having a job outside the Houses of the Oireachtas is probably a bigger issue to discuss. I have hardly time to see my kids at the weekend so I don’t know how people have time to hold down second jobs to be honest about it, it’s probably a bigger issue.

The Irish Examiner revealed last week that Mr Murphy is set to step down as a TD to take up a high-profile job with the European Commission.

Fianna Fáil chief whip Michael Moynihan has written to the Oireachtas committee on member’s interests asking it to investigate Mr Murphy’s attendance.

He said: “We don’t see any signs to say that he was performing his duties as a TD in terms of Dáil debates and Dáil questions.”

More on this topic

Dara Murphy controversy had impact on byelection, says BurkeDara Murphy controversy had impact on byelection, says Burke

Dara Murphy entitled to over €500k after resignationDara Murphy entitled to over €500k after resignation

Minister Eoghan Murphy faces heavy criticism at FG parliamentary party meetingMinister Eoghan Murphy faces heavy criticism at FG parliamentary party meeting

Daniel McConnell: ‘Absentee TD’ avoids inquiry and can expect another €500,000 in paymentsDaniel McConnell: ‘Absentee TD’ avoids inquiry and can expect another €500,000 in payments


More in this Section

UK Election: DUP set to lose kingmaker role with Conservatives on course for majorityUK Election: DUP set to lose kingmaker role with Conservatives on course for majority

Gardaí suspect man, 30s, died after fall in DonegalGardaí suspect man, 30s, died after fall in Donegal

Appeal for help to find Louth man missing for almost two weeksAppeal for help to find Louth man missing for almost two weeks

Taoiseach to demand €1bn from EU for investment and support in border regionTaoiseach to demand €1bn from EU for investment and support in border region


Lifestyle

Jazz in Europe these days exists in a highly networked environment of cultural and political bodies, festivals, promoters, musicians and educators.Jazz Connective Festival: Intriguing, exciting and uncompromising

It will be bittersweet for Stormzy that his second album arrives the day the British Labour party was confirmed as suffering a historic general election trouncing.Album review: Stormzy remains a work in progress

Unique drawings by Quentin Blake, one of Britain’s best-loved illustrators, are available at a Christie’s online auction which runs until December 17.Your chance to buy drawings by Roald Dahl illustrator Quentin Blake

Ciara McDonnell talks to four high-profile people about their festive traditions and favourite tracksHere's what has these famous faces rockin’ around the Christmas tree

More From The Irish Examiner