Enda Kenny’s delay over Seanad posts costs taxpayer €265k

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is coming under mounting pressure to reveal his 11 Seanad appointees, after it emerged the month-long delay in making a decision has cost the taxpayer over a quarter of a million euro.

Since the Seanad elections just over a month ago, the 49 politicians voted into the Upper House have received €265,416 in salary payments.

An Oireachtas spokesperson said €5,416 per person sum has been provided despite the Seanad being unable to sit once during the period because of the ongoing delay in filling the 11 positions decided on by the taoiseach of the day.

A number of senators are concerned over how the expense will be viewed considering the Seanad has yet to meet and that a similar controversy occurred during the delay in forming the Government, with TDs receiving a combined €2.7m — €38,500 per day — in the 70 days no Dáil existed.

As such, pressure is growing on Mr Kenny to make an appointments decision.

The Fine Gael leader is expected to announce his 11 nominated senators either today or early next week, and is understood to be focusing particular attention on failed candidates in the general election and social campaigners outside Leinster House.

While a Government spokesperson declined to confirm any details of the list last night, it is widely expected that Fine Gael’s former deputy leader and cabinet member, James Reilly, will be among the appointees.

Among other names being rumoured for the roles are outgoing senators Sean Barrett and Averil Power.

However, given the large number of potential candidates available, Mr Kenny has to date been unable to make a decision.


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