Senators on €70k salaryplus extra incomes

FOUR out of five senators are double-jobbing or have extra incomes on top of the €70,000-plus paid to them by the State for working just three days a week, 34 weeks a year in the Upper House.

Labour senator Ivana Bacik is paid at least three separate wages from the State, including one as a lecturer in Trinity College Dublin and fees paid to her as a barrister acting on behalf of the DPP, the Chief State Solicitor’s Office, the Attorney General and the Department of Justice.

More than half of members of the Upper House are landlords or have extensive property portfolios, with some boasting houses in Italy and South of France.

The Register of Interests for members of the Seanad published yesterday show Labour Party senator Dominic Hannigan owns a private villa in Lake Garda, Italy, as well as a rental apartment in Florence and a house in London.

Leader of the House Donie Cassidy declared rental income from 10 properties in Dublin and Mullingar, as well as a number of share holdings and businesses, including Celtic Note music store, Ardee Music and a number ofhotels.

Fine Gael Senator Eugene Regan is listed as a director to 27 separate Goldman Sachs funds as well as retaining interest in a number of asset management companies, one of which is based in the Cayman Islands.

He also has an apartment in Spain and one in Copenhagen as well as two acres of farmland in Sligo. His party colleague, Paul Coughlan, owns at least 10 rental and student accommodation properties around the country, as well as Killarney Shopping Centre, Avenue Holiday Homes, a restaurant and office spaces in Kerry and property in London.

The auctioneer by trade also owns shares in some of Ireland’s biggest companies, including AIB, Kerry Group, CRH building and C&C drinks company.

His fellow Kerryman, Senator Mark Daly (Fianna Fáil), owns three rental properties in Kenmare as well as forestry and farmland. The 37-year-old has investments in Navacon, a Luxembourg property holding company, and several share listings for companies connected with the energy markets.

A total of 34 out of 60 senators have rental or development properties.

Long-standing Fianna Fáil senator, Francis O’Brien, who has been in the job for 21 years, rents four separate homes in Galway, Dublin and Monaghan, as well as ten development properties.

Former PD leader and now Fine Gael senator Ciarán Cannon earns extra income as a musician, is director of a pub in Athenry and owns a home in France.

Fergal Quinn has the most extensive share holdings, with stakes in 50 companies, including Anglo Irish Bank, Channel 6, Hertz and Carluccios Restaurant.

In contrast, former mayor of Galway and Green Party senator Niall O Brolcháin declared his directorship of the Galway Circus Project, a community group which is funded by the Arts Council.

More in this section

War of Independence Podcast

A special four-part series hosted by Mick Clifford

Available on

Commemorating 100 years since the War of Independence