Dessie Ellis may not be only SF TD keeping €93k salary

Sinn Féin cannot say how many of its elected members are receiving special pay deals.

Pearse Doherty confirmed that Sinn Féin president Mary-Lou McDonald does not get a salary top-up but strongly suggested that a number of members do receive special side-deals.

Earlier this year it was revealed that Dublin North West TD Dessie Ellis keeps the full €93,598 salary despite a well-publicised and long-standing party policy that elected members only take the average industrial wage.

While each Sinn Féin TD and senator claims the full salary from the State, they usually only keep €39,000 of this and pump the remainder back into the party and constituency services.

Mr Doherty, the party’s Dáil deputy leader, said: “There is a long-established policy that Sinn Féin elected representatives wouldn’t take the full salary and would contribute back to constituency services or would give donations back to the party.

“That is the continued policy, the policy is always under review but at this point in time that is the situation.”


He claimed this is a voluntary policy but it is “the principle of the party and the spirit of the party”.

“I know the situation in relation to Dessie, I don’t know of any other situation. Leo Varadkar talked about €44,000 being the average industrial wage in the State, the policy of the party is that we don’t even take the €44,000, so we are not even on the average industrial wage.”

However, he hinted that Mr Ellis is not the only member of the party who has agreed a special deal with the Sinn Féin leadership around additional pay or expenses above the agreed €39,000.

“The difficulty with some of that is for example if you were a single earner in your household and you were taking home less than €40,000 you would be entitled to certain benefits, but because on paper your salary is €92,000 you then have to pay education fees and so on. In those circumstances people should not lose out,” he said.

He claimed elected Sinn Féin members do not get into politics for the wages but instead aim to deliver on policies. He would not say how much of a salary members would be entitled to as ministers if they go into government but said: “We won’t be taking home €186,000”.


For 2020, statement-making in interiors has expanded to just about anything we like as long as it draws the eye towards it in the way a fireplace or television dominating a room would typically have done in the past, writes Carol O'CallaghanHow just one item can create a focal point in a room and even spark a conversation

Dara McAnulty talks about his friendship with Chris Packham, his struggles with autism and the buzz around his debut book.Dara McAnulty: Meet the bright new teenage voice for conservation

'You see, in a classroom, I know the rules. I’m not perfect but I’m in the right ballpark at least. I can see and hear it in my students’ reactions, in their contributions from the stands.'Secret Diary of an Irish Teacher: Living the dream in a lockdown nightmare

'The old doll said we can’t go to Tenerife this year because her Mam would be ashamed if she went against the government's advice, whoever's in the government these days.'Ask Audrey: 'C’mere, what’s the story with getting ripped off by Kerry people?'

More From The Irish Examiner